Beans and Wind are Good for Minnesota Farmers

Family farmers in Minnesota have a new revenue source, and electricity consumers in the United States can purchase wind energy generated on these family-owned farms.

ATLANTA, Georgia, US, 2001-08-20 [SolarAccess.com] Family farmers in Minnesota have a new revenue source, and electricity consumers in the United States can purchase wind energy generated on these family-owned farms. Sterling Planet has teamed with Dan Juhl, developer and operator of Woodstock Windfarms LLC, to sell green energy certificates from Minnesota farms. The certificates will come initially from an existing 320 acre windfarm that sits in a field of corn and beans, where 17 turbines have generated 29,000 MWh per year since they were commissioned in June 1999. That output is sufficient electricity for 3,700 homes. Later this year, two farmer-owned turbines on two additional acres will begin producing wind energy. In 2002, five or more family-owned wind projects are expected to come on line. “This southwest corner of Minnesota is a great area for farming wind power and has commonly been referred to as the Saudi Arabia of wind energy,” says Juhl, who has 25 years experience in wind energy. For the past few years, he has been working with family farmers to diversify their farming operations to produce a new cash crop from wind-generated electricity. Through Sterling Planet, Juhl and his fellow wind farmers will sell the environmental attributes of their turbines to buyers across the U.S. through green energy certificates or tickets which are worth 1 MWh each. The tickets provide financial incentives for the development of new green energy facilities, create an additional revenue source for producers, and boost demand for green energy in the marketplace. “Our offering of these green tickets demonstrates our essence of sustainability, both from an environmental and an economic perspective,” says Therrell Murphy, president and CEO of Sterling Planet. “These Minnesota wind farm tickets sustain an agrarian lifestyle. We’re excited about this opportunity to benefit these farmers in particular and society overall.” Sterling Planet says it has customers in 44 states.
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