A new office recently blew into Kasson – wind energy developer High Country Energy.
High Country, which is developing wind-generated 300 to 500 megawatt projects in Dodge, Olmsted, and Mower Counties, decided it needed a local office. High Country is local firm created last year with its parent company, National Wind LLC based in the Twin Cities
“We think it is important to have local offices for our wind projects,” says Erin Edholm, National Wind’s director of communications. “It is important to have a local face on the project."
Actually, there are two local faces. The office at 122 West Main Street in Kasson is staffed by Missy Kelley jeff kiger 12/9/08CQ and Dan Hemmingsenjeff kiger 12/9/08CQ, field specialists for High Country Energy.
The office will have information available anyone interested in the project. That includes the 124 landowners that High Country has signed leases with and the 65 Minnesota investors. People from Rochester, Austin, Hayfield, Kasson, Sargeant, Byron, and Dodge Center are involved.
While the primary goal is to create a wind project to generate 300 megawatts, Edholm says they’d “like to go to 500 megawatts.
How many acres does it take to support a project like that? She estimates that would take 50,000 acres.
“It is kind of a long term goal,” said Edholm.
The project timeline is for construction to start at 2011 with it going into operation in 2012. The 300 megawatts level is expected to start in 2013.
National Wind also has similar projects in the works, Goodhue Wind in Goodhue County and Root River Energy in Fillmore County. Edholm says those project could their own offices someday in the future.