Wind Harvest – Minnesota

Timlynn Babitsky | Benefits & Support,Case studies,Cash Crop for Farmers | Thursday, May 1st, 2008

by Timlynn Babitsky
Thinking of tapping into wind power by leasing your farm land to a wind developer? You may want to look into the Minwind Energy wind farm near Luverne, in the southwest corner of Minnesota first. “The real money to be made from wind power comes not from land rental, but from the generation of electrical power,” says Mark Willers, CEO of Minwind.

“If someone is going to be making money off my land, it should be me–not some power company, and especially not an Australian or Spanish company,” adds Tom Arends a Minwind member and a semi-retired grain and hog farmer.

“We must find ways to keep more of these wind-energy dollars within our state and within the Midwest–and we need to collaborate to make it happen,” says Willers. And collaborate they did!

Most other wind farms in the U. S. are owned by private power companies. Minwind Energy is owned by the 300 farmers and community members who came together to develop this wind farm.

The Minwind Energy story is less about gathering allies to support an agenda than it is a case study of the power of a commited community, although as I dig deeper I am sure I will find a lot more about how that community actually came together. If you are doing your homework on whether to own a turbine or to lease your land for someone else’s turbine, you really should read the rest of this story.

There was virtually no opposition to the Minwind project. “That is the beauty of a community project. When neighbors all own part of it and will get a return from it, it really makes a difference,” says Willers.

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