A local wind energy developer announced Tuesday its intent to bring a major new wind farm project to Jackson County.
Geronimo Energy, which first developed the nearby 20-megawatt Odin Wind Farm and previously proposed a not-yet-constructed 20-megawatt South Fork Wind Farm in Ewington and Round Lake townships, asked for and received a county government letter of support for a new project 10 times that size – roughly equivalent to EDF Renewable Energy’s 205.5-megawatt Lakefield Wind Project and more than half of Iberdrola Renewables’ combined 348.8-megawatt Trimont, Elm Creek and Elm Creek II wind projects.
Geronimo’s new Odell Wind Farm has the potential for 200 megawatts of wind energy production from as many as 119 turbines spread over 35,000 acres, with almost half of that in Jackson County, almost half in Cottonwood County and some spillover into Martin and Watonwan counties, said project manager Jordan Burmeister.
Jackson County’s portion of the project is concentrated in Kimball Township, with a small portion crossing into Christiania Township as well, he said.
Burmeister has been developing landowner easements and leases for the project since mid-2009 and said Geronimo is now beginning to market its planned power production to a potential buyer.
The nearly $360 million project would also develop eight to nine miles of transmission line to interconnect with Xcel Energy’s 345-kilovolt line northeast of Lakefield, Burmeister said.
If approved by the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, construction is targeted for 2014 or 2015.
Proposed community benefits from the project include approximately $1.3 million in annual landowner payments, $875,000 in annual tax payments and $40,000 in annual contributions to a local community fund.
Farmer-friendly Geronimo originated from a rural Bingham Lake native’s discontent with the contracts being offered for the right to put up a wind turbine on farm property.
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