BIG BEND WIND PROJECT PROFILE
At Apex Clean Energy, we are excited about our plans to bring wind power to your area through the development of the Big Bend Wind project. Our team is committed to frequent outreach in the community, and we’re passionate about sharing how wind energy is an important economic opportunity for communities in rural Minnesota.
Here’s what you need to know about Big Bend Wind:
- Located on acres of open farmland in rural Cottonwood, Watonwan, and Martin counties
- Capable of producing 300 MW of clean, homegrown energy, enough to power 138,000 U.S. homes each year
- Expected to consist of approximately 51 wind turbines, spaced approximately 1/4 to 1/2 mile apart
- 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
- Hundreds of jobs and significant local spending during construction
- Up to 12 permanent jobs at a local operations and maintenance facility
- Taxpayers protected against decommissioning costs
- More than 30 years of annual revenue for landowners, counties, and township government services, totaling tens of millions of dollars
WHY COTTONWOOD, WATONWAN, AND MARTIN COUNTIES?
If built, Big Bend Wind will have a capacity of 300 MW, producing enough energy to power 138,000 homes every year. Representing a private investment in excess of $450 million, Big Bend Wind will benefit the economies of Cottonwood, Watonwan, and Martin counties 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 each county for local governments as well as 30 years of local purchasing, employment, and investment.
This region 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 these three counties 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.
*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