What kind of Wind Turbine is being used and how long are the Land Lease Agreements?
The Project utilizes two (2) GE 2.5 MW turbines with a 116m rotor diameter at a 80m hub height. The turbines will be located on land that is situated approximately 2-3 miles outside of the city of Luverne. Certain parcels will be leased to the RCWF project entity under Land Lease and Easement Agreements with the respective landowners for at least 25 years with options to renew. The land is currently used primarily (and will continue to be used) for agricultural purposes. This location in the State of Minnesota provides for a very suitable wind resource. Minnesota ranks seventh in the USA in terms of wind energy generation potential due to the strong average wind speeds in the midsection of the U.S. The average wind speed of 7.88 m/s was determined through AWS Truepower using its Compass reporting tool.
Will they affect my property values?
No. Long-term, comprehensive studies have shown that wind power does not affect property values. Rather, it is a driver for economic development in the host communities and supports local municipal services that benefit all property owners.
The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory collected data from more than 50,000 home sales from 27 counties in nine states. "Across all model specifications, we find no statistical evidence that home prices near wind turbines were affected in either the post-construction or post announcement/preconstruction periods." LBNL, A Spatial Hedonic Analysis of the Effects of Wind Energy Facilities on Surrounding Property Values in the United States.
A Bloomberg Businessweek article (Oct. 2016) reported that investments in wind power have actually helped increase assessed land values in some of the poorest areas of rural America.
Are Turbines Safe?
Yes. Independent peer-reviewed studies conducted around the world, including the U.S., have consistently found no evidence that wind farms cause any negative physical health effects.
An important notation about peer reviews, and why they’re important. The peer review process is a form of scientific quality control.
Scientists subject their research to the scrutiny of other experts in the field (peers)
Two or more independent experts in the same or similar field consider the scientific method, results and conclusions.
Reviewers are usually anonymous, are not paid for their review, and must not have any conflicts of interest in relation to the research.
What will the turbines connect to and will their be more wires above ground?
The Project will interconnect directly with the Gevo production facility located within the city limits of Luverne. It is expected that the transmission of electrical energy by the wind turbines will occur through underground cabling at the wind site to the Gevo facility. An Interconnection analysis is being performed between Juhl's electrical engineer and Gevo personnel. There will not be a specific Project substation built as a part of this Project.
Will there be excess electricity and if so, who gets it?
Do the Turbines really kill birds & bats?
Yes, but it's not what you think. Wind turbines kill far fewer birds in North America than do cats or collisions with cell towers. Wind turbines kill between 214,000 and 368,000 birds annually — a small fraction compared with the estimated 6.8 million fatalities from collisions with cell and radio towers and the 1.4 billion to 3.7 billion deaths from cats, according to the peer-reviewed study by two federal scientists and the environmental consulting firm West Inc.
The Project will tie directly into the transformer that feeds the Gevo facility to supply power to any immediate electrical load of Gevo and excess power will go through a bi-directional meter to measure any energy back fed into a nearby transmission system owned by the local municipal utility. Any excess electricity produced will be sold to the local municipal utility under PURPA rules.
Are any of the Turbine Myths true?
Will the turbines hurt my crops?
A multi-year study, led by Iowa State University, shows that wind turbines may have a positive effect on crops. The study examined the effects of turbulence (produced by moving turbine blades) and found a measurable impact on several key variables that affect the growing conditions for crops. For example, the researchers found that changes in air pressure from turbine-induced turbulence may enrich the carbon dioxide content in the air surrounding crops — which could, in turn, help crops grow more efficiently.
In addition, the turbulence may suppress the formation of dew and dries the crops, which may combat harmful molds and fungi.
Do the turbines restrict farming operations?
Turbines do not restrict farming operations and farmers are able to continue farming the majority of their land.
After the turbines and related infrastructure are installed, farming can continue nearly right to the base of the turbine.
Each turbine only removes about ¼ to ½ of an acre from agricultural production.
A typical wind farm leaves 98 percent of land undisturbed, meaning it’s free for other uses like farming and ranching.
Often times the construction process will including creating new roads or updating existing roads, which can improve operations.
If crops are damaged during construction, wind developers will typically reimburse the landowner for the lost revenue.
How do Turbines Benefit Rural Communities?
Wind energy preserves open spaces in rural America, affords long-term protection to farmland and agriculture, and boosts the economy in small towns and rural communities.
The U.S. wind industry has brought over $144 billion in capital investment to rural America, approximately $222 million in annual income to farmers and rural landowners, and currently supports more than 100,000 jobs across 50 states.*
This certainty and peace of mind is a boon to farmers and landowners -- and each turbine only occupies about 1/2 acre for towers and access roads.
These statistics are from the AWEA U.S. Wind Industry Annual Market Report Year Ending 2016