BIG BEND WIND PROJECT PROFILE
Apex Clean Energy will be actively meeting with landowners, community leaders, and the public to share information about Big Bend Wind as the project progresses. We are excited to be a part of your community.
Many of the details about the proposed Big Bend project are yet to be determined. For example, it's far too early to tell which turbines we will use, exactly how many there will be, or where these turbines will be located. However, as we continue to develop this project, more of these details will be determined, and we will share project updates with you here on this site.
- Planned to be located on approximately 15,000 acres of open farmland in rural Cottonwood County
- Capable of producing 300 MW of clean, homegrown energy, enough to power 114,000 U.S. homes each year
- Expected to consist of approximately 70 to 90 wind turbines, spaced approximately 1/4 to 1/2 mile apart on active farmland
- Each wind turbine, including the access road, typically requires less than half an acre of land
- Farmers would continue farming their land with very limited disturbance
- Will represent a significant investment in local economy with revenues for farmers, local government, and schools
- Will create up to 400 full-time-equivalent jobs during construction
- Will create up to 20 permanent jobs at a local operations and maintenance facility
WHY COTTONWOOD COUNTY?
If built, Big Bend will have a capacity of 300 MW, producing enough energy to power 114,000 homes every year. Representing a private investment in excess of $450 million, Big Bend will benefit the economy of Cottonwood county in the near term with construction jobs and local purchasing of materials and services. In the long term, the project promises to bring sustained tax revenue to the county for the local government as well as 30 years of local purchasing, employment, and investment.
Rural Cottonwood county was selected by Apex Clean Energy after a thorough examination of many candidate sites within Minnesota for the following reasons:
- Verified wind resource
- Expansive commercial farmland
- Existing network of state highways
- Avoids sensitive military and environmental areas
- Strong local landowner and community support
Farmers who host turbines on their property and other participating landowners will also receive annual lease payments. These payments will continue over the projected 30-year lifespan of the wind farm, injecting millions of dollars into the economy of Cottonwood county to support local merchants, contractors, and equipment suppliers.
WIND ENERGY FOR RURAL AMERICA
The cost of wind energy has dropped more than 50% over the past five years, providing a cost-competitive source for clean electricity across the nation. Now, a new study confirms wind energy is at the point where it's cheaper than coal, even without subsidies.* Wind powers the equivalent of 18 million American homes each year.** Wind energy comes with many benefits, including reduced pollution, increased domestic employment, consumer cost savings, water conservation, nationwide availability, and increased community revenues.*** Wind turbines compliment working farms, because they allow for existing agricultural operations to continue around them. They also help farmers by diversifying the rural economy and providing a consistent, drought-resistant new harvest.
There are many steps in the process to completion of Big Bend, including the Minnesota Power Siting Board permitting application process. This means construction is unlikely before 2021. Apex will be working closely with Cottonwood county on the project planning and permitting, offering additional opportunities for the public to provide input into the process.
*Minnesota Public Radio, Study: Renewable energy now Minnesota's 2nd-largest electricity source, March 2018
**AWEA, Wind Energy Facts at a Glance, March 2015
***Department of Energy, Wind Vision: A New Era for Wind Power in the United States, 2015