Wind: the last crop to harvest

January 26, 2009 - 11:25am -- Anonymous

“What some are calling the ‘last crop to harvest’ is capturing growing attention from farmers and other landowners in western Minnesota,” wrote Tom Cherveny in the West Central Tribune

about a recent Renewable Energy Forum in Redwood Falls, Minnesota, sponsored by the Southwest Initiative Foundation (SWIF) and other groups, where more than 100 participants gathered to learn about commercial-scale wind opportunities and options.

In county after county, SWIF forums have attracted large numbers of farmers and rural landowners who are interested in harvesting wind energy; in fact, many have already been contacted by wind developers seeking to launch projects on their land. Windustry works with SWIF to provide speakers and information about the benefits of Community Wind as an alternative to commercial leases with big companies.

“It’s a big resource for us, a huge cash crop,” said Dan Juhl, Juhl Wind, Woodstock, Minnesota, one of the state’s leading developers of community-owned wind systems. Minnesota has the largest share of Community Wind projects of any state, with 320 megawatts of community-owned wind energy out of 1,300 megawatts of developed wind power in Minnesota, according to Melissa Peterson, Project Analyst at Windustry.