Nobles Cooperative Electric
When the Minnesota legislature began considering a statewide renewable electricity standard, Rick Burud, General Manager of Nobles Cooperative Electric, knew that he had to move quickly if Nobles was to stay ahead of the renewable energy curve. Given their location in breezy southwestern Minnesota, wind power was the obvious choice.
Because Nobles is a non-profit, it is ineligible for the production tax credit that provides incentives for corporations with taxable income. That’s where REAP helped.
Nobles received $500,000 from REAP, over 15% of the total $3.2 million cost. “This construction allowed us to get into the wind business; to produce our own power to serve our members. That was important,” said Burud.
Burud also manages the neighboring Federated REA, and helped it to secure REAP funding for its turbine. “We have pretty strong winds in this part of Minnesota,” he noted. “Annually, we’re looking at a 33-34% capacity factor for our turbine, but some months it has been over 40%.”
Perhaps most importantly, REAP funding helped make the project economical for Nobles. “It’s a tool that we needed in our tool box,” said Burud.