Minnesota, United States [RenewableEnergyWorld.com] Root River Energy and its managing partner National Wind, have secured more than 20,000 acres of land in Mower and Fillmore Counties that will be used for wind farm development. This represents about two-thirds of the leased acres needed to develop up to 300 megawatts (MW) of community-owned wind energy in the area. Over 7,600 of these acres are located in the eastern Mower County footprint, an area Root River Energy expanded into during the Spring of 2009. The project’s overall goal is to sign 30,000 contiguous acres.
“The project is really coming together nicely as we continue to receive a positive community response from both the Fillmore and Mower County footprints,” said Jim Connolly, a field specialist for Root River Energy. “The Mower County expansion has helped accelerate the project’s development. Also, landowners are realizing that our business model focuses on building positive relationships, allowing the community to share in the project’s revenues and influence the process to meet their needs.”
Root River said that an example of this includes, an amendment to the land lease that commits Root River’s development team to designing access roads that conform to existing farming practices as much as possible.
Often, access road construction is a common landowner concern. Access roads are fundamental to development and need to be constructed to effectively transport wind turbine components to their specific site location.
They also allow operations and maintenance personnel access to the turbine during the life of the project to perform routine inspections that ensure the facility is working properly.