County to get $198K for wind project road costs

Published 9:49 am Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Mower County will get $198,000 from Renewable Energy Systems Americas to offset road maintenance costs during RES’s upcoming Pleasant Valley Wind Farm expansion.

The funding is part of an agreement among Mower and Dodge counties and RES, according to County Engineer Mike Hanson, who presented the agreement to the Mower County Board of Commissioners Tuesday. Dodge County would receive about $27,000 as part of the agreement.

The agreement covers “just about everything you can think of,” when it comes to road wear and tear near the Pleasant Valley Wind Farm site during construction, according to Hanson.

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The project will consist of 100, 2-MW Vestas turbines over 35,000 acres — 88 turbines in Mower County near Dexter and Sergeant and 12 in Dodge County.

RES Americas plans to begin building the wind farm this spring, and the wind farm could be completed by October 2015.

Currently, there are 253 wind turbines in Mower County, according to County Coordinator Craig Oscarson. The additional 88 turbines in Mower will boost the money the county and townships receive through the Wind Energy Production Tax. The county is slated to receive about $1.2 million this year, and the added turbines could add $400,000 a year for the county. However, the county won’t receive the money until after the first year Pleasant Valley is in production, since it’s based on the amount of energy produced.

—Jason Schoonover contributed to this report.