“We are proud to be a part of this project and look forward to seeing the positive results this project will deliver for many years to come.”
All of the electricity produced by the project will be sold under a 20-year power purchase agreement to Xcel Energy’s Northern States Power Company. The project is scheduled for completion by mid-2011.
The project was jointly developed by Southwest Wind Consulting LLC, the Community Energy Developers Board and Lincoln County Enterprise Development, and received a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The contract with Northern States Power Company was approved by the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission.
“We developed one of our first wind energy projects in Minnesota over 10 years ago and are pleased to once again partner with local investors to expand our wind portfolio in the region where we entered the renewable business," said Ron Litzinger, chief executive officer of EMG.
“Rural communities have a significant opportunity to generate income and preserve the environment by producing renewable energy that can be used by other consumers,” said Colleen Landkamer, USDA Rural Development state director. “We are proud to be a part of this project and look forward to seeing the positive results this project will deliver for many years to come.”
“Xcel Energy is already the No. 1 wind power provider in the country. The Community Wind North project advances our commitment to provide our customers with clean, renewable energy at a reasonable cost, and assists us in meeting aggressive renewable energy requirements,” said Judy Poferl, president and CEO of Northern States Power – Minnesota, an Xcel Energy company.
Community Wind North is located in Lincoln County, about six miles west of Lake Benton along Minnesota’s Buffalo Ridge. It will be powered by 12 2.5-megawatt Clipper turbines producing enough power to meet the energy needs of about 10,000 homes.
“Southwest Wind Consulting is pleased to have been part of the development team resulting in the construction of Community Wind North with Edison Mission Energy as equity partner,” said Wayne Hess, president of Southwest Wind Consulting. “This project shall continue to reap benefits for the 150 local Minnesota investors and the Lincoln County landowners who will receive annual lease payments. It will also provide tax relief in the form of Production Tax Revenue on the power produced to the State of Minnesota, Lincoln County, and the Township of Verdi.”
“The Lincoln County Enterprise Development Corporation has been working to facilitate the development of renewable energy in Lincoln County for many years,” said Vince Robinson, LCEDC executive director. “One of our primary goals is to see that more of the development is accomplished through local initiatives with local investors. This project is a major step in that direction. Community Wind North will be a long term benefit to its 150 local investors and to the 15 landowners receiving compensation for land leases and easements. The project will also provide additional taxes to the local jurisdictions and will provide many direct and indirect jobs. We at LCEDC are happy to have played a part in making this project a reality.”
“This project was the vision of the late David Norgaard and several other insightful people in Southwest Minnesota,” said Conrad Schardin, president of Community Energy Developers, the local project development team. “They wanted to see large scale wind projects developed at the local level and now we can all see the merits of that vision. We started this project in 2003 and we are happy to have been able to see it through to construction. We are thankful for all the local support we have received and look forward to this being a lasting achievement of local initiative and resolve.”
The project will support about 30 construction jobs and represents a total investment of $58 million. It will also pay nearly $28 million in taxes and fees to the local and state economies over the next 20 years.
Edison Mission Group is the seventh largest developer of wind energy projects in the U.S. with a current portfolio of 29 projects in operation or under construction in 10 states with a total generating capacity of more than 1,800 megawatts.