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Power from the wind

At Great River Energy (GRETM), we are proud to be a leader in wind energy development. In 2008, the American Wind Energy Association named us rural electric cooperative of the year as the cooperative with the most wind-energy capacity in the country. GRE currently purchases the output from a number of wind farms. Learn more about wind energy by watching our video.

Great River Energy receives wind energy from:

Trimont Area Wind Farm

Located in southwestern Minnesota near GRE’s natural gas-fired peaking plant – Lakefield Junction Station, the Trimont Area Wind Farm was a project proposed by a coalition of local citizens. Forty-three landowners in the area partnered with Iberdrola Renewables and GRE to build the project on 8,900 acres of corn and soy fields in Martin and Jackson counties. It’s important to note that only 1 to 2 percent of those 8,900 acres is impacted by the facility. Underneath the 67 wind turbines, the harvesting of corn and soybeans proceeds as usual.

The project is equipped with 67 General Electric (GE Wind) 1.5 MW turbines. Each turbine is 262 feet high at the tower’s hub, from which rotors 254 feet in diameter spin. The total capacity of the 67 turbines is 100 MW of wind energy annually. Iberdrola Renewables owns and operates the Trimont Area Wind Farm. GRE has purchased the output since the wind farm began operations in November 2005.

Prairie Star Wind Farm

Prairie Star Wind Farm, built in 2007, is located 15 miles southeast of Austin, Minnesota in Mower County. This project site includes approximately 16,000 acres of privately owned land. The land is primarily used to grow corn and soybean crops. Farming proceeds as usual on most of the land around the turbines.

The 61 wind turbines (1.65 megawatts each) are capable of producing 100 MW of power. The Vesta turbines are 265 feet high at the hub, with 263-foot rotors. Horizon Wind Energy is the owner and developer of Prairie Star Wind Farm. GRE began purchasing the facilities’ output in January 2008.

Elm Creek Wind Power Project

The 100-MW Elm Creek Wind Power Project is located near the Trimont Area Wind Farm in Trimont, Minnesota. Elm Creek provides electricity to more than 29,000 homes served by GRE member cooperatives. The project encompasses about 9,554 acres of land leased from 56 local corn and soybean farmers. The land continues to be used for corn and soybean farming.

The project is equipped with 66 General Electric (GE Wind) 1.5 megawatt wind turbines. Each turbine is 384 feet high at the tower’s hub, from which rotors 253 feet in diameter spin. Iberdrola Renewables owns and operates the Elm Creek Wind Farm. GRE has purchased the wind farm’s output since it began operations in November 2008.

Ashtabula II

GRE purchases 51 MW from the Ashtabula II Wind Energy Center in eastern North Dakota, under a 30-year power purchase agreement with NextEra Energy Resources.

Located in Griggs and Steele counties, the Ashtabula II Wind Energy Center consists of 80 1.5-MW GE XLE turbines for a nameplate capacity of 120 MW, of which GRE purchases 51 MW of output. The wind farm originally reached commercial operation in November 2009; Great River Energy began receiving power from the facility in August 2010.

Endeavor I Wind Energy Center

GRE purchases 100 MW from the Endeavor I Wind Energy Center in northwest Iowa. Located in Osceola County, the Endeavor I Wind Energy Center consists of 40 2.5-MW Clipper Liberty turbines for a nameplate capacity of 100 MW. The wind farm began commercial operation in April 2008; GRE began receiving power from the facility in April 2011 under a 30-year power purchase agreement with NextEra Energy Resources.

Other wind energy projects

We also purchase an additional 18 MW of wind energy from three projects located in Chandler, Minnesota; Dodge Center, Minnesota, and Jackson County, Minnesota.

View the previous day’s energy output at Chandler Hills Wind Farm. »

GRE also has a 160-foot, 200-kilowatt wind turbine at our Maple Grove, Minnesota headquarters.

Wellspring Renewable Energy

Great River Energy and our member cooperatives offer the popular Wellspring Renewable Energy Program. Through the program, customers may choose to buy additional wind energy for a nominal monthly fee. Approximately 6,600 co-op members purchase Wellspring renewable energy. To purchase Wellspring renewable energy, contact your local electric cooperative.

Learn more  »

For more information about developing wind projects in Minnesota, check out:

American Wind Energy Association

Kid Wind – Wind Energy Science Education

Community wind study article

The Green Power Network

Minnesota Department of Commerce website

State regulatory guidelines

C-BED Rider for small wind developers

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