First Landowner-developed Wind Farm To Start Construction

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March 23, 2005

TRIMONT, Minnesota − Construction is expected to begin in May on the 100-megawatt Trimont Area Wind Farm 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.

“This is the result of almost three years of work by local landowners to bring wind power to Jackson and Martin counties,” said Neal VonOhlen, chief manager of the Trimont Area Wind Farm (TAWF) and a local landowner, “and we are delighted to be at this stage in the process.”

Traditional landowner easement payments for the project are expected to total approximately $300,000 each year and the revenue participation by the landowners is expected to be more than double the traditional easement payment.

Trimont selected PPM Energy (PPM) of Portland, Ore., one of the largest providers of wind power in the United States, to develop and build the project on its behalf.  “Trimont is a great opportunity to bring a large-scale community wind project online in 2005 in order to meet Great River Energy’s needs,” said Raimund Grube, director of Midwest development for PPM.

“We are delighted to buy clean, renewable energy from Trimont to meet our renewable commitments,” said Rick Lancaster, vice president of corporate services for Great River Energy (GRE).  “This project is a model for community wind power and a good fit for GRE based on its competitive pricing, access to transmission, ability to serve the members of our cooperative and location inside our service territory.”

Production tax revenues from the project for Jackson and Martin counties are expected to range from $350,000-$400,000 annually. “This project is a win for all parties involved,” said Jack Potter, Fifth District Martin County Commissioner. “Everyone from the TAWF landowners through electrical system ratepayers will see a benefit from this project. We are proud to be a hosting county for this project.”

Loren Tusa, Second District Jackson County Commissioner echoes Potters comments, adding, “It is absolutely refreshing to see a grassroots effort like this become a reality.”

Great River Energy is a not-for-profit generation and transmission cooperative providing electricity to 28 distribution cooperatives in Minnesota and Wisconsin. It is the second largest power supplier in the state of Minnesota, and the fourth largest cooperative of its type in the nation.

Portland, Oregon-based PPM Energy, is part of the ScottishPower group of companies. With a portfolio of more than 830 MW of wind power currently in operation in seven states, PPM Energy has a goal of bringing 2,300 MW of new wind power to market by 2010. PPM Energy balances its supply portfolio with sales to wholesale customers, placing almost all of its output in long-term contracts. Major customers include the cities of Seattle, Sacramento, Pasadena, Anaheim as well as investor-owned utilities such as Alliant Energy and Xcel Energy and the federal Bonneville Power Administration. PPM Energy also has about 800 megawatts of clean gas resources under its control to give customers a wide range of options for adding environmentally responsible energy to their portfolios. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Energy, and the Center for Resource Solutions honored PPM recently for significantly advancing development of the green power market.


Contact: 
Kandace Olsen, Great River Energy, 763-241-2293
Art Sasse, Director, Communications & Brand, Iberdrola Renewables, 503-796-7740
Paul Copleman, Media Relations, Iberdrola Renewables, 207-641-2805