Iberdrola Renewables Announces Second Trimont Area Wind Farm Starts Construction
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July 12, 2008
TRIMONT, Minn, -- Iberdrola Renewables and Great River Energy announced today that construction has begun on the 99-megawatt Elm Creek Wind Power Project in southwestern Minnesota. The project, expected to be commercially operating by the end of the year, will provide enough energy for 29,000 homes each year.
"We are happy to announce a second wind power project using the same innovative model for landowner revenue participation as our original Trimont Area Wind Farm," said Neal VonOhlen, chief manager of the Trimont Area Wind Farm and a local landowner. "Trimont has been such a success we wanted to do another one as soon as possible."
The Elm Creek and Trimont wind projects provide more benefits to landowners than the typical wind project. Landowners benefit from revenue participation as well as from traditional easement payments. In addition, production tax revenues from the project for Jackson and Martin counties are expected to range from $350,000-$400,000 annually.
"Property taxes from the Trimont wind farm and now the Elm Creek project benefit county programs and schools," said Jackson County Commissioner Roger Ringkob. "The wind projects are not only a good fit with agriculture in rural Minnesota. They also bring in business to our local hotels, restaurants and campgrounds."
"In Southern Minnesota, we are showing the rest of the nation what is possible in renewable energy development," said Congressman Tim Walz. "With skyrocketing energy prices, it is imperative that we work together to ensure that our growing wind industry remains strong. In Congress, I have been a strong advocate of legislation that promotes wind development and research into other forms of renewable energy."
The Elm Creek wind power project will feature 66 GE 1.5 megawatt turbines, the same turbines used at the Trimont Area Wind Farm, which has been in operation since November 2005. As with the Trimont wind project, Iberdrola Renewables, formerly PPM Energy, of Portland, Ore., developed and will build and operate the new wind farm.
"Iberdrola Renewables is delighted to again bring construction and operations jobs to this community," said Tim Seck, director of development for Iberdrola Renewables. "We also are glad to once again provide clean, renewable wind power to Great River Energy and its members."
"With the addition of the output from Elm Creek Wind Farm, Great River Energy will have more than 300 megawatts of wind capacity under contract," said Mark Rathbun, Great River Energy’s renewable energy project leader. "That gives us a great start toward meeting the state of Minnesota’s renewable energy standard."
Iberdrola Renewables is currently the world’s leading provider of wind power with more than 8,000 MW of wind power in operation globally now. Between 2008-2012, the company will invest €18.8 billion globally to achieve installed capacity of close to 18,000 MW and production of more than 42,000 GWh. Iberdrola Renewables will invest $8 billion in the U.S. between 2008 and 2012 and plans to install 1,000 MW of wind power each year in the US. www.iberdrolarenewables.us
Great River Energy, headquartered in Maple Grove, Minn., provides wholesale electricity to more than 1.7 million people via 28 distribution cooperatives in Minnesota and Wisconsin. With more than $2.3 billion in assets, Great River Energy is the second largest utility in the state, based on generating capacity, and the fifth largest generation and transmission (G&T) cooperative in the United States. Great River Energy’s member cooperatives range from those in the outer-ring suburbs of the Twin Cities to the Arrowhead region of Minnesota to the farmland of southwestern Minnesota. Great River Energy’s largest distribution cooperative serves more than 120,000 member-consumers; the smallest serves just over 2,400.
Art Sasse, Director, Communications & Brand, Iberdrola Renewables, 503-796-7740
Paul Copleman, Media Relations, Iberdrola Renewables, 207-641-2805
Therese LaCanne, Great River Energy, 763-455-5710