The electricity the Community Wind North Project produces is being sold under a 20-year power purchase agreement to Xcel Energy’s Northern States Power Co.
“This dedication is made all the more special by the fact that we got our start in the renewable energy business in Minnesota in 1998 and have built on that to become one of the largest wind turbines developers in the U.S.,” said Pedro Pizarro, president of EMG, a subsidiary of Edison International (NYSE:EIX).
“It’s especially significant that this project came to life because of the can-do spirit of 150 local investors, who have worked toward this day for eight years with great support from local, state and federal agencies,” he added. “Thanks to their vision, Community Wind North will bring economic benefits and a source of clean energy to this region for years to come.”
“Wind energy is important to the economies of rural Minnesota,” Rep. Collin C. Peterson, D-Minn., said. “I’ve been a strong supporter of the programs and partnerships that make this kind of project possible, and I congratulate all the local investors and officials who came together to make this project a reality.”
“The USDA is proud to have played a role in this important project,” said Colleen Landkamer, state director, United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development Office. “It is imperative that we develop more self-sufficient energy resources in this country. Energy from renewable sources protects our nation’s farmland, boosts the rural economy and makes our rural communities even better places to live.”
Southwest Wind Consulting LLC, the Community Energy Developers Board and Lincoln County Enterprise Development Corp. jointly developed the project, which has benefited from more than $3 million in U.S. Department of Agriculture grants. The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission approved the contract with Northern States Power.
Community Wind North is in Lincoln County, about six miles west of Lake Benton, along Minnesota’s Buffalo Ridge. A dozen 2.5-megawatt Clipper turbines there will produce enough power to meet the energy needs of about 10,000 homes.
EMG invested $58 million to build the project, which created 120 jobs and injected an estimated $15 million into the local economy during construction. The project also will benefit the local and state economies through about $28 million in taxes and fees paid over the next 20 years.
EMG is the seventh largest developer of wind energy projects in the U.S., with a portfolio of 29 wind farm projects and nearly 2,000 megawatts of wind power capacity in operation or under construction in 11 states. The company has a pipeline of approximately 3,600 megawatts of potential, additional projects.
With offices in Santa Ana, Calif., EMG manages the competitive power generation business of Edison International, an electric power generator and distributor, and an investor in infrastructure and renewable energy projects.