WILMONT, Minnesota (Dec. 16, 2020) – The Nobles 2 wind farm, a 250-megawatt (MW) facility in southwest Minnesota, is now fully operational. The wind farm achieved commercial operation on Dec. 12.
“From Day One, local leaders, landowners and the community have been open and receptive to wind development. We are excited to have worked with them to make the Nobles 2 wind farm a reality,” said Tenaska CEO and Vice Chairman Jerry Crouse. “We look forward to the many years of operation ahead, delivering renewable energy to Minnesota Power.”
Tenaska, an energy company based in Omaha, Nebraska, is a respected developer and operator of generating facilities across the United States. Nobles 2 is the 19th power project that the company has brought online to date and its second wind farm to achieve operation in 2020.
Located near Wilmont in Nobles County, Nobles 2 is comprised of 74 Vestas turbines. The wind farm is owned by Nobles 2 Power Partners, LLC, which is comprised of affiliates of Tenaska, a subsidiary of ALLETE Inc. and Bright Canyon Energy. The wind farm provides renewable energy under a 20-year power purchase agreement with Minnesota Power, a utility division of ALLETE.
“Nobles 2 will propel Minnesota Power to a 50 percent renewable energy milestone, the highest renewable percentage among Minnesota utilities,” said Julie Pierce, Minnesota Power vice president of strategy and planning. “As we deliver more renewable energy to our customers, the people and communities near Nobles 2 will gain the economic benefits, including jobs, tax revenue and donations, of having this clean new power source in their region. In effect, Minnesotans from southwest Minnesota and northeastern Minnesota will share in the economic and environmental value of the renewable energy produced at Nobles 2.”
Said Jason Smith, general manager for Bright Canyon Energy: “Nobles 2 is important to our company and to the customers of Minnesota Power, who will benefit for years to come from the clean energy produced by this wind farm. America’s energy supply is getting cleaner by the year, and we are proud to be a partner with Tenaska in advancing this goal,”
Construction of the Nobles 2 wind farm began in August 2019. Vestas, an industry-leading global manufacturer of wind turbines, supplied the wind turbines and is providing maintenance services for the project. Mortenson, a premier builder and provider of energy and engineering services, is the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor.
Construction of the wind farm represented a significant investment in the regional economy. Over the past 14 months, the project has provided approximately 150 local jobs. Some $15.5 million in contracts have been awarded to businesses in the region.
In lieu of a construction celebration for the project amid the COVID-19 situation, Nobles 2 Power Partners provided $30,000 in donations to first-responders and social services in Nobles County that have been responding to the pandemic.
During operation, the Nobles 2 wind farm is supported by a team of 14 local employees staffed though NAES Corporation and Vestas. The facility is anticipated to result in increased tax revenue of more than $1.1 million annually to local units of government and will diversify land use and provide stable income to landowners through lease payments.
The wind farm has committed to a community fund that will benefit communities in the project area, including the townships of Bloom, Larkin, Lismore, Leota, Summit Lake and Wilmont. Nobles 2 would contribute $15,000 per year for 20 years. The first payment into the fund will take place within the first operational year.