Minwind III-IX

Luverne, Minnesota
Utility-Scale Wind
Section 9006 Grant: $178,201
Each project – 2003

farmbill-success-stories_page_06_image_0001-300x225The MinWind utility-scale wind projects on the wind-rich Buffalo Ridge in southwestern Minnesota are among the nation’s most heralded examples of locally-owned “community” wind projects.

The business model for MinWind III-IX is similar to that for the first two projects, which began producing power in 2002.

Each of the seven projects is organized as a separate business, consisting of a single 1.75 megawatt (MW) wind turbine owned by 33 local investors.

Each project applied for and received a Section 9006 grant of $178,201, roughly 10% of the installed project cost. The projects also qualified for Minnesota’s renewable energy production incentive.

These projects benefit from the economies of scale and professional management of a larger project. Yet their cooperative- type business structure brings the financial benefits of community wind ownership to a large number of local farmers and landowners.

Mark Willers, President of MinWind Energy, receives many visitors and fields phone calls from people wanting to replicate Minwind’s success, and the small prairie town of Luverne is alive with happy wind farm owners.