Great River Energy will begin contract negotiations with Trimont Area Wind Farm, LLC to develop its next 100 MW of wind energy in southwestern Minnesota. Trimont is a coalition of local citizens from the project area that answered Great River Energy’s request for proposals to develop a renewable energy supply resource to be available to the cooperative’s members by 2005. Developers say it could be the largest, locally-owned wind project in the nation.Elk River, Minnesota – August 12, 2003 [SolarAccess.com] “We look forward to working with these local landowners on this potential new project,” said Tim Seck, Great River Energy’s project manager for renewable energy. “Their proposal met all the criteria we had set out in our request.” Seck will discussed the contract during the Wind Energy Forum at FarmFest in Redwood County on Thursday, August 7. According to Great River, Trimont was selected because of its competitive price, its access to transmission line interconnections and ability to deliver the power to Great River Energy’s member cooperatives. In addition, the location of the project was within the coop’s service territory and the developer is locally owned. “We’re confident we can build and operate a project Great River Energy’s members will be proud of,” said Neal Von Ohlen, Trimont spokesman and Chief Manager of the LLC. “The local citizens who comprise Trimont Wind are also electric cooperative customers of South Central Electric Association [a Great River Energy member cooperative] so you could say this project is ‘all in the family.'” Trimont plans to locate the project in Martin and Jackson counties near the Lakefield Junction station power plant. The turbines would be owned and operated entirely by the Trimont. Great River Energy would buy the energy output from the turbines through a long-term purchase power contract, pending approval by its Board of Directors. Both parties have targeted to have the contract completed during this upcoming fall season.