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Minnesota energy merger sets stage for community-based wind power

National Wind LLC announced this week the formation of Goodhue Wind LLC, a community wind development company in Goodhue County, Minnesota. National Wind, the project’s manager, helped capitalize Goodhue Wind alongside local in Goodhue County, where Goodhue Wind intends to develop a 78 megawatt (MW) wind farm.

Minnesota’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), enacted by the state legislature in February 2007, requires utility companies in the state to obtain 25% of their retail electricity sales from renewable sources by 2025. Further mandates are broken down by year to encourage utility companies to start building their portfolios of renewable energy sources now.

Goodhue Wind, according to a company report, is in the definitive planning phase of negotiating an interconnection agreement that will handle up to 78 MW of new input to the grid. Goodhue Wind expects the project will be operational between late 2009 and early 2010.

Goodhue Wind officials expect a shorter development period than most utility-scale wind developments, pending approval of the interconnection agreement. With a relatively early anticipated commercial operation date, Goodhue Wind hopes to attract interest from utilities seeking to meet the first targets of the state's RPS law.

"Utilities have a tendency to view community-based wind projects more favorably than traditional wind developments," says Jack Levi, co-chairman of National Wind. "By focusing on local needs and local involvement, community projects form solid roots in the community and create strong local support. Community members really appreciate that, and utilities seem to value it as well."

National Wind LLC announced this week the formation of Goodhue Wind LLC, a community wind development company in Goodhue County, Minnesota. National Wind, the project’s manager, helped capitalize Goodhue Wind alongside local in Goodhue County, where Goodhue Wind intends to develop a 78 megawatt (MW) wind farm.

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