Trimont Area Wind Farm Celebrates Dedication
Nation's largest landowner-developed wind farm generates enough electricity to serve the annual energy needs of about 29,000 homes
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July 08, 2006
TRIMONT, Minn.-The Trimont Area Wind Farm, the nation's largest landowner-developed wind farm, was officially dedicated on Saturday, July 8 at the Trimont Chocolate Festival. Generating enough electricity to serve the annual energy needs of nearly 29,000 Minnesota homes, the wind farm consists of 67 wind turbines, each nearly as tall as a 30-story building.
The project, developed and operated by Portland, Ore.-based PPM Energy, provides power to Great River Energy, which distributes the renewable energy to member electric cooperatives throughout Minnesota.
"This project is a significant step that will help spur the creation of homegrown, renewable energy in our state and in our region," said John Brekke, vice-president, member services, Great River Energy. "The land continues to be owned and farmed by local landowners, and energy customers throughout the state will benefit from the wind energy produced at the Trimont Area Wind Farm."
Tim Seck, business developer, PPM Energy, adds: "The Trimont Area Wind Farm has become a model for community wind across the country, and we hope to replicate the success elsewhere as well as expand Trimont."
The wind farm generates up to 100 megawatts (MW) of clean, renewable energy. Forty-three landowners in the area partnered with PPM Energy and Great River Energy to develop the project, which will help Great River Energy meet the Minnesota Renewable Energy Objective, calling on electric utilities to produce 10 percent of their energy from renewable sources by 2015.
The project will generate more than $1 million in local economic impact to the Trimont area in the form of taxes, easement payments, landowner revenue participation payments and jobs.
Neal VonOhlen, chief manager of the Trimont Area Wind Farm and a local farmer, notes his satisfaction with the project saying, "As a Minnesota farmer, I understand the value of wind energy to my farm, my community and the importance of it to our partners in the project. We're incredibly excited to dedicate the wind farm, and look forward to producing energy for many years to come."
Wind energy is the fastest growing energy source, with an annual average growth rate of more than 35 percent since 2001.
Great River Energy (www.GreatRiverEnergy.com) 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 (www.ppmenergy.com) is part of the ScottishPower group of companies. PPM Energy now has more than 1,700 MW of wind energy in operation or under construction. The strength of its renewable project pipeline has allowed the company to increase its 2010 target by over 50 percent to at least 3,500 MW developed or controlled by PPM Energy.