Wisconsin Trying to Buy Part of MN Wind Farm

John Davis

wpsc.jpgThe Wisconsin Public Service Corporation is looking to buy half interest of a Southeast Minnesota wind farm.

This story on the Finance and Commerce web site says the move is seen as part of Wisconsin’s effort to get 10 percent of its electricity from renewable resources by 2015:

In September 2007, Minneapolis-based wind energy developer National Wind LLC announced that it planned to develop High Country as a community-owned wind project.

Under this business model, participating landowners get majority ownership of the wind farm. When fully built out, the High Country development will produce 300 megawatts.

In February, National Wind announced on its website that it had been negotiating with “a regional utility” to acquire part of the development. WPSC was that utility.

Terms of WPSC’s development and energy purchase agreement were not disclosed. But generally, putting in the infrastructure (turbines) to produce wind energy costs $2 million for every megawatt, which in this case would put WPSC’s cost at around $300 million.

The utility is expected to have 100 three-bladed white wind turbines on more than 70 square miles of farm land.

Wisconsin and Minnesota are considered in the top 20 states for wind energy potential.