Wind grant awarded

Press Release submitted by Carol Overland

(Dec. 24 update: see Northfield News coverage.)

The Northfield School District and Carleton College have been awarded the Department of Commerce "Community Wind" grant. This grant, in the amount of $150,000, is for a community-owned wind project.The Commerce proposal information sets out the requirements that it be "a new grid-connected, community-owned wind energy project of 750 kilowtts or larger" that is to be "installed, interconnected, and fully operational, providing electricity to a Minnesota electric utility by June 30, 2005. Examples of community-ownership include but are not limited to educational institutions, non-profit organizations, and units of government."

The Northfield School District and Carleton College project as proposed features two independently owned and operated utility scale turbines that are 1.65 megawatts each, which are expected to generate nearly 5 million kilowatt hours of electricity annually.

Submission of the Grant Proposal was authorized by the School District on November 10, 2003, and it was written by Carol Overland, an energy attorney in Northfield, a subcontractor to Don Brauer, P.E., who was retained by the District at that same meeting.

The grant request included a detailed wind resource study by Chris Ludewig, of RENew Northfield, that procured and installed wind monitoring towers and analyzed the results, which documented wind speeds of 17.02 mph on average at 70 meters. That wind speed is enough to make the project feasible. This award is the result of the collective work of the Northfield Wind Energy Task Force, co-chaired by Jeff Eckhoff, Asst. Principal of Northfield High School, and David Bly, Lead Teacher at the Alternative Learning Center. Also on the Task Force are Richard Strong, Carleton College's Director of Facilities, Management and Planning, and RENew's Bruce Anderson and Chris Ludewig, and community members including Erik Johnson, School Board member Jean Boardman and others.

For further information:

Richard Strong, Carleton College (507) 646-4271
Jeff Eckhoff -- Wind Energy Task Force Co-Chair (507) 645-3401
David Bly -- Wind Energy Task Force Co-Chair (507) 664-3752
Don Brauer, The Brauer Group (consultant to District) (952) 720-4888
Mike Taylor, MN Dept. of Commerce (651) 296-6830

For copy of grant proposal, contact Carol A. Overland (651) 271-1389
(this Press Release submitted by Carol A. Overland)

View/download the complete proposal (warning: large, 1.4mg Word doc file)