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Wind Turbines Dedicated Aug. 13

Steady winds blew across the Buffalo Ridge in southwest Minnesota during the Aug. 13 dedication of the newly constructed wind turbines owned by New Richmond’s power supplier, Wisconsin Public Power Inc.

A view from the blade.

The clean output from the two wind units is being made available to New Richmond and other WPPI members as part of the power company’s renewable energy program, which provides retail customers with an opportunity to purchase all or a portion of their electricity each month from renewable sources.

In their first three weeks of operation beginning July 11, the wind units produced almost 200,000 kilowatt-hours of clean power.

The turbines can generate up to 1.8 megawatts of nonpolluting electricity, enough to power about 600 average-sized households.

Located in a farmer’s field on the outskirts of the public power community of Worthington, the turbines have been well received by the public, media and government officials.

“In fact, the day of the dedication ceremony, an area farmer stopped by the site to find out how he could get some wind turbines constructed on his land,” said Jake Oelke, WPPI Director of Industrial Services.

The wind turbines are part of a joint effort between Sun Prairie-based WPPI and Missouri River Energy Services, a joint action agency located in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. MRES also owns two turbines at the site.

With the addition of the wind units, renewable resources now make up almost 4 percent of WPPI’s power supply portfolio. The power company’s other renewable resources include electricity generated at a refurbished, low-impact hydroelectric plant near Black River Falls and biogas projects at wastewater treatment plants in Kaukauna, Menasha and Sun Prairie.

The state’s fifth-largest power company, WPPI provides electricity and support services to 37 Wisconsin municipal utilities serving 140,000 homes and businesses.

Among WPPI member utilities, more than 1,200 customers have signed up to receive nearly 2,400 blocks of renewable energy in increments of 150 kilowatt-hours. Locally, 45 customers of New Richmond Utilities are receiving 102 blocks of renewable energy.