Small Wind Farm Ready to Generate Power
While very small wind energy projects are not normally viable due to the cost and effort involved, a small wind farm in the Clay County could easily start generating power as early as 2010. If this project, called The Romar wind project, starts generating power successfully it will certainly trigger a trend.
But how is it possible to create tiny wind farms when acres of land are required to build even a marginally ambitious wind energy generating facility? This wind farm is at the most appropriate location: the seventh-highest elevation in Minnesota, near Rollag, with the best possible exposure to wind, according to Folkedahl, who is developing the site for the owners of the land, Rolf and Mary Garborg, who live in Prior Lake, Minnesota.
Although the Garbogs had been approached by many wind energy companies who had shown keen interest in developing wind farms on their land, Folkedahl told them that instead of letting other companies use their land to produce wind energy they themselves could do that. They were immediately fascinated by the idea. “We were just intrigued with the opportunity to have our farmland used to generate power for the community,” Mary Garborg said.
Even the smaller wind farm doesn’t come cheap; for each megawatt of production an investment of $2,000,000 will be required and hence all in all the total cost of the project is going to be $8,000,000. Most of the cost will be borne by the financial partners of the Garborgs and hence they will be reaping the immediate profits; the couple is not looking for short-term profits. They take it as an investment for the college education of their grandchildren.
Many similar projects are coming up in the Clay County. There hasn’t been a public debate on the subject so far. The Clay County planning director Tim Magnusson has drafted a new wind power ordinance that would govern future small projects looking to build in the county; he plans to bring the ordinance before the county Planning Commission in the very near future.