Print Email

News Feed

Iberdola Hosts Wind Farm Tour at Elm Creek II

By Kelley Welf on July 31, 2013

It was a dark and stormy start to our trip to Jackson, Minn., for a tour of Iberdrola Renewables’ Elm Creek II wind farm. As we traveled to the southwest corner of the state, the weather cleared and we enjoyed a warm, windy summer day in Minnesota. 

A group of 26 wind energy advocates representing such groups as Sierra Club, Fresh Energy, the Clean Energy & Jobs campaign, Conservation Minnesota, Isaak Walton League, Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy, Windustry, and Environment Minnesota attended the tour.  Iberdrola’s Business Developer Adam Sokolski, led the tour with Operations Manager Matt Spies.  Construction questions were answered by Cody Meyer of Mortenson Construction, the company hired to build this project.  The group also benefited from remarks by Neal Von Ohlen, the lead landowner representing the Elm Creek II Landowner Association. 

Neal and Adam explained the unique landowner model they have with the Elm Creek II project and how successful it has been for everyone involved. There are approximately 60 landowners included in the project, representing 12,000 acres of land.  Under the terms of their agreement, regardless of whether a participating landowner gets a turbine on their project or not, each landowner receives a portion of the profits from the farm.  “This makes everyone happy,” Neal said.  Iberdrola has replicated this landowner model in various forms on several other projects as well, with great success.  “The partnership we have with the landowners in Jackson and Martin County provides a win-win-win for the landowners, the community and our company,” said Adam Sokolski.

The Elm Creek II project has been operational for nearly three years now. When asked if any landowners have experienced any of the negative health effects that have been the cause for concern in several states, Neal stated unequivocally that there have been none.

At the turbine, the visitors got to see the inside of the turbine, and a demonstration of the climb-assist mechanism that helps technicians more easily climb the more than 200 steps to the top.  The ascent usually takes a technician about 6-7 minutes, but with the climb-assist, they can reach the top in about 1 – 1½ minutes.  The feature also reduces stress to their knees.

On the return trip, Cody Meyers gave some fascinating construction statistics from the project.  He shared a story about a restaurant on the brink of closing that is now considering expanding due to the influx of workers from wind development. Minnesota construction company Mortenson said it spent $10 million within a 50 mile radius of a Minnesota wind project on equipment rentals, concrete, aggregate resources, and other services.

Other interesting facts include:

  • Nearly 500 cubic yards of concrete are used for each turbine.  Combined, 30,000 yards of concrete were used for this project – enough to lay 215 miles of standard city sidewalk.  
  • The Elm Creek II project uses Mitsubishi 2.4 MW turbines.  The nacelle weighs the equivalent of 74 Toyota Camrys, or 237,000 pounds.  
  • Mortenson estimated that in a nearby project, they injected $500,000 into the local community in the form of housing and rent/living expenses for their workers.  
  • And, using local businesses within 50 miles of the project for such things as aggregate, renting equipment, concrete, etc., added another $10 million to the economy.  

Other local contractors used as projects are being built include:

  • Concrete haulers
  • Gravel and aggregate suppliers
  • Design for the Operations & Management structure
  • Drain tile contractors to repair the 800 – 900 drain tiles damaged during trenching.  This kept two local drain tile contractors busy for nearly two years.
  • Catering for safety lunches
  • On-site toilets
  • Water

Wind on the Wires plans to coordinate similar tours this fall for legislators on both sides of the aisle. “Events like this are a great opportunity to show policy makers and other allies what a wind farm looks like, how it operates, and the significant benefits they can bring to rural communities.” said Regional Policy Manager Joe Sullivan.

See photos from this tour here.

Tags:  minnesota, iberdrola, sokolski, mortenson
© 2016 Wind on the Wires, All Rights Reserved
divider divider
Subscribe
News For:  
Recent Posts
Categories
Tags
15-556, 40x30, 50/50, 50/50 split, 111d, 2015, 2015 gala, accomplishments, affordable, aima, alliant, amendment, ameren, amy kurt, anderson, ara, asthma, awea, badger-coulee, badger coulee, battery, baxter, beth soholt, big check, big stone city, birkholz, blattner, board, board of directors, borgia, borst, brader, branstad, brimbert, broadwind, brookings, buy the farm, callisto, capacity, capacity shortfall, capx, capx2020, carbon, ce&j, chamber of commerce, christmann, clark, clean air, clean energy, clean energy and jobs, clean energy roundtable, clean jobs bill, clean jobs coalition, clean line, clean line energy, clean power plan, clinton, co-ops, coal, comed, community, community conversation, community wind, competitive procurement, construction, conversation, corporate buyers, corporate purchasing, cost, cost-effective, cost competitive, costs, cpcn, cpp, cpp analysis, dahms, dalrymple, daugaard, dayton, dceo, deed, department of energy, dickens, dnr, docket er12-309, doe, dold, doug scott, dynergy, economic development, edpr, ee, eipc, electric vehicles, ellison, elpc, emf, enel, energy optimization, engagement meeting, e nris, enris, entergy, enxco, eo, eon, epa, ercot, eris, ev, events, exelon, external nris, factory, farm, ferc, ferc order 1000, flannery, fossil fuel, fox, fredrickson, gala, garofalo, generator refuel, gi, gouged by the wind, governor dayton, grain belt, grain belt express, grand prairie gateway, grant, gratiot, gre, great river energy, grid, grid modernization, grimbert, hall, hampton, hb 2543, hb 3523, health, health impacts, heartland, henley, hirner, huebsch, hvdc interconnection, hybrid interconnection, ia, iberdrola, icc, iec, il, illinois, illinois rivers, illinois state university, independent load, indiana, iowa, iowa environmental council, ipp, iptc, iptf, irp, itc, itpf, jackley, jacobs, jobs, jobs and energy omnibus bill, johnathan hladik, jon chase, justin pickar, kaplan, kaul, kenney, kfyrtv, kirk, koehler, kostyack, kowall, kuehn, kunkle, kvam, la crosse, land lease, largest wind energy producer, lavoy, leroy, lila, listening session, listening sessions, low-cost, ludington, mae, manitoba, manufacturing, market opportunities, mark twain, marshall, mccollum, media training, media training event, member, members meetings, mep voltage, mi, michigan, michigan thumb loop, minnesota, minnesota power, minnkota, miso, missouri, mn, mo, modernization, morning consult, mortenson, mpca, mtep, mtep16, mtep17, mtep 17, mvp, mvps, nathaniel baer, natural gas, nd, nesbitt, new member, nicole luckey, nofs, north dakota, nowak, nrdc, nrg, nris, omnibus, order 1000, otter tail power, pac, peter rood, pilot hill, pjm, polar vortex, policy, poll, pollution, prairie rose, price, prices, production tax credit, proos, property tax, protest, psc, pscw, ptc, public engagement training, public utilities commission, puc, qol study, queue reform, quick hit process, rates, rauner, recb, recb task force, regulators, reliability, reliable, renewable energy, renewable portfolio standards, renz, republicans, res, resource adequacy, retirements, ricl, rochester, rock island, rock island clean line, roskam, roth, rothman, roundtable, rps, rule 111d, sanilac, savings, sb180, sb 437, sb437, sb 438, sb 858, schimel, schmidt, schomacker, schuette, scott, sd, sf1077, sheppard, sherco, shirkey, sims, sioux, siting, smith, snyder, soholt, sokolski, solar, solar capacity, south dakota, southwest regional development commission, spencer, spoon river, stakeholder process redesign, stakeholder reform, state energy plan, state update, storage, strategic energy assessment, streicker, success, survey, sutley, swedzinski, tax, tax credits, taxes, tenaska, tony clark, top ten, transfer capacity, transmission, tribes, update, utilities, utility, utton, ventower, vestas, viciana, victory, walker, wapa, ward, water, webber, wedding, weller, wi, wildlife, wind, wind and birds, wind development, windlogics, windpower2015, wind siting, windswept farms, wind tour, wind vision, wisconsin, wowe, xcel, your voice matters, zorn
Search
Not a Member? Want to know more?
Already a Member? Need web access?