Nobles 2 Wind eyes construction in 2018; 100 to 125 turbines planned in northern Nobles County
WORTHINGTON — Though still about a year and a half away from construction, Project Resources Corporation (PRC) Wind continues to make progress on its timeline to construct a 250-megawatt wind farm in northern Nobles County.
It was nearly a year ago that Nobles County learned a new wind farm was planned for construction in the county, although talks with landowners began in mid-2015.
Ryan Ammermann, PRC Wind development manager, said he estimates lease agreements with willing landowners will be completed by early April.
“Then we kick off the permitting cycle, which will start in April or May,” Ammermann said.
Meanwhile, the Minneapolis-based wind project developer continues to conduct various studies in the area where the towers are proposed. Ammermann said most of the 100-125 turbines will be erected in Bloom and Wilmont townships, with some in Lismore Township and crossing over into Murray County.
PRC Wind conducted a meeting with landowners last month, during which it announced a working agreement with Tenaska, a Nebraska-based company billed as one of the largest private, independent energy companies in the U.S. Tenaska works in development, design, financing, construction management and operation of electric generating facilities and energy marketing.
“They bring a lot of expertise and knowledge with the financing side of the project. They’ll be helping get the project built,” Ammermann said.
The new wind farm will be built between the existing Nobles Wind Farm and Community Wind South projects and the Fenton Wind Farm. Construction is slated to begin in the late summer or early fall of 2018 and is estimated to be a 10-month to 1-year process depending on weather, Ammermann said.
“We don’t have a layout yet,” Ammermann said. “By May or June we should know exactly where the facilities will go. That gets excitement built back up with landowners.”
“There’s a lot that goes into the layout as far as land that’s leased,” he added, noting restrictions and setbacks the company will have to abide by during construction. The company is also working with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and U.S. Fish and Wildlife because of the location of the wind farm and its proximity to public lands.
Ammermann said a manufacturer has yet to be determined for the turbines, but noted there will be a combination of 2-megawatt to 3.5-megawatt towers. The power purchaser also is yet to be determined, though Ammermann said there is a lot of interest.
“You guys are in a hot spot (for wind energy),” Ammermann said, adding that some of the landowners participating in the wind farm will have multiple towers on their property.
“The landowners and the community, they’ve been really great to work with on this project,” he said. “The tax revenue for the county and the townships, it’s a pretty significant boost. It’s exciting to see.”
PRC Wind has worked with several other wind projects along the Buffalo Ridge in southwest Minnesota.