Way of Life
Sustainable Incomes from Wind Power
Wind power and solar energy are impacting a broad range of communities across Minnesota in several positive, and sometimes unanticipated, ways.
“As far as I’m concerned they’re wonderful,” says Joanne Miller, talking about the wind turbines on her land.
“Any time you have a good economy, or something that can bring money to a community, to people, it helps stabilize things. It’s just a propelling benefit to everybody,” said Brandon Denne, Manager of Procurement, Blattner Energy.
North Star Solar is a 440,000 panel, 1,100-acre power utility in Chisago.
North Star Solar powers approximately 20,000 homes.
With 100 years of farming experience in the family, local farmers turn to wind.
Keeping Farmers on Their Land
Wind power, particularly in Greater Minnesota, is providing sustainable incomes that help keep farmers on their land.
“My great grandpa moved up here before the early depression, 1920, so we’ve been here working on over 100 years probably,” says Andrew Hamilton, a farmer in Mower County, who’s placed 18 wind turbines on his family’s land. “We have our roots here and I’m a fifth generation farmer here. I feel that being out here in rural America, we only have certain avenues to have income coming in, to keep farm income coming in you know, this is one of them.”
"Any time you have a good economy, or something that can bring money to a community, to people, it helps stabilize things. It's just a propelling benefit to everybody." – Brandon Denne, Manager of Procurement, Blattner Energy
Chisago County is realizing several benefits from its solar gardens. Local landowners have put up over a dozen solar gardens and the County is also home to North Star Solar, which is a 440,000 panel, 1,100-acre power utility.
“This site we’re on today, in fact, powers about 20,000 typical homes, which means basically every home in Chisago County could be powered by this one power plant. In addition, however, it’s a great educational opportunity. So our school district, for instance, in Chisago Lakes has put solar on top of the roof. That becomes a living, learning classroom for our students to see, to feel and to touch solar power,” said Bruce Messelt, Chicago County administrator.