Company to Service Growing Wind Industry Near O’Neill, Nebraska
Transportation Partners and Logistics (TP&L) is bringing a unique storage business to Nebraska. TP&L has purchased – for lease – 156-acres east of O’Neill for a trans-loading facility for wind turbine equipment. TP&L will also be leasing the former Bomgaars location on Highway 20/275 for maintenance purposes.
The storage projects are a subsequent round for the Wyoming-based company. During construction of the Grande Prairie Wind Project, TP&L stored wind turbine components for Vestas on 17 acres near Page and east of Cargill.
“Last year, we came out here and did trans-loading for Vestas. That was just a temporary site,” said Billy Brenton, TP&L vice president. “We own all our other sites, but our customers dictate where the next sites will be. One big customer, with products in Kansas and Oklahoma, wanted something in Iowa, and we had a spot in Spencer, Iowa picked out.
“This newest property is the only location where we don’t own the track. We ended up partnering with Cargill. We were already here, so we decided on O’Neill,” Brenton said.
The company will not be building wind turbines; it will only be transporting and storing parts for turbines. The former Bomgaars building will be used to store down tower assembly (DTA) and other items such as bearings and computers that cannot be stored outside.
“We will have three or four guys that will work out of that facility doing maintenance on DTAs,” Brenton said.
TP&L will also bring more than 560 trucks into O’Neill for an unnamed customer who needs product on the ground by Sept. 31. That product will be stored for the next four years, while other components will be funneled in and out, similar to as when Grande Prairie Wind Project was built.
The company in part works for both original equipment manufacturers (OEM), as well as developers.
“It is kind of an interesting way that the industry has changed in the last six years. We used to just work with OEMs. Now the manufactures sell out of our yards. So they will strategically look around where they think there will be wind farms,” Brenton said. “They will start to sell product there and sell out of our yards. Once it is sold, it becomes the developer’s property. That is where we come in. We do all the maintenance, trucking and manage it to the project sites for them. We don’t do any construction. We are strictly just a transloader.”
TP&L currently has around 23 employees onsite and is in the process of hiring around 20 more employees. O’Neill is served electrically by NPPD Retail.
Courtesy: Holt County Independent