Fairmont, Minnesota to Harness the Wind

After securing permits and options to lease sites with good wind, the Board of Directors of Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency (SMMPA) has decided to move ahead with a project to build wind turbines near Fairmont, one of its member communities…

Rochester, Minnesota – October 9, 2002 [SolarAccess.com] After securing permits and options to lease sites with good wind, the Board of Directors of Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency (SMMPA) has decided to move ahead with a project to build wind turbines near Fairmont, one of its member communities. SMMPA will build and own two 950 kW wind turbines standing 326 feet from their base to blade tip that will feed power into the Fairmont system. “Sending the power directly into Fairmont’s distribution system instead of into the transmission network will allow us to avoid cost and availability issues of the increasingly constrained transmission network,” said Dan Hayes of SMMPA. The wind turbines will generate enough power for 700 homes. SMMPA has made wind generated power available to its member utilities since late 2000 by purchasing wind power from other companies with existing wind turbines. Customers of SMMPA members signed up for all the wind power that SMMPA made available at that time. There are currently about 800 customers of SMMPA members that buy wind power. Wind power from the turbines will be available to both residential and commercial customers. “We expect that businesses in our member communities will recognize the opportunity to purchase wind power as an opportunity to set an example of environmental leadership in their communities,” Hayes said. SMMPA provides electricity and related services to 18 municipally operated utilities, mostly in south-central and southeastern Minnesota.
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