Nobles 2 Power Partners plans local wind farm

Posted on April 23rd, 2016 in News

By Julie Buntier, Worthington Daily Globe

WORTHINGTON — Nobles 2 Power Partners, LLC., has announced plans to develop a 250- to 300-megawatt wind farm in portions of northern Nobles and southern Murray counties.

On Tuesday, Nobles County commissioners were notified of a comment period issued by Nobles 2 for the project, which would include 150 wind turbines. The request for comments is in advance of the wind developer’s plans to obtain a site permit and certificate of need from the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission.

Jay Regnier, of Twin Cities-based Project Resources Corporation, serves as the director of project development for Nobles 2 Power Partners. He said in a phone interview Tuesday that the goal is to receive all of the permits and certifications by the end of 2018.

Plans are to develop the Nobles 2 Wind Farm between the existing Nobles Wind Farm and Community Wind South projects closer to Interstate 90, and the Fenton Wind and proposed Stoneray projects to the north and northwest. The proposed site is approximately 10 miles west of the Prairie Rose Wind Farm.

Nobles County townships identified for potential development of the wind farm are Leota, Wilmont, Bloom, Seward, Lismore, Larkin, Summit Lake and Elk, with Sections 34-36 of Fenton Township in Murray County also in consideration for towers.

Project Resources Corporation already has one meteorological tower in place, and plans to install two more this year. Regnier said the goal is to collect meteorological data for about a year.

Nobles County Administrator Tom Johnson said the plans for Nobles 2, if the project moves forward, will result in nearly double the number of wind turbines in Nobles County.

“It fills in a significant portion of the gap in between the I-90 wind farm and the (Fenton Wind) farm in Nobles and Murray counties,” he said.

According to a letter Regnier wrote to the Nobles County administrator, the type of turbines to be used in the project has yet to be determined.

“(It) will be dependent on the most appropriate technology available at the time of ordering equipment prior to construction,” he stated.

The project, in addition to the turbines, will include gravel access roads, underground collection lines, step up transformers, permanent meteorological towers and a step up substation. The location of the proposed infrastructure has not yet been finalized.

Westwood Professional Services will complete initial studies and permitting for the project. Regnier noted that no permits have been issued and the project has not yet been opened for public comment.

“We have lots of leg work to do,” he said. “We have been talking to landowners. We have a project area, but we don’t have a project layout as of yet.”

Project Resources Corporation helped develop the initial Nobles Wind project in Nobles County, and Regnier said the company has had a hand in the development of about 1,400 to 1,800 megawatts of wind energy in the Midwest thus far. The company was established in Minnesota in the 1990s.

“We were one of the first in the Midwest to take up the love of wind power,” Regnier said.



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