June 26, 2008

Central and Southeastern Minnesota landowners now have an opportunity to participate in two large-scale, community-owned projects. National Wind, LLC announces today its partnership with local landowners to form two Minnesota wind development companies, Root River Energy, LLC, in Fillmore County, and Lake Country Wind Energy, LLC, in Meeker and Kandiyohi Counties. Over the next five years, the projects plan to develop up to 500 megawatts of wind energy, enough to power a total of nearly 150,000 homes.

National Wind, the project manager, along with the local landowners, and community leaders, provided the founding capital to establish Root River Energy, LLC and Lake Country Wind Energy, LLC. Both developments have formed a members’ advisory board of area landowners to assist with community participation and communication. Root River Energy, LLC’s advisory board members are: Craig and Ardis Forland, Joel and Barbara Nelson, Rick and Gina Jahn, Ronald and Lanna Gehling, and Kenneth and Therese Graner. Lake Country Wind Energy, LLC ‘s advisory board members are: John Slinden, Gordon Behm, Jim Huisman, Tim Huisman, Wes Nelson, Dale Walter, Cliff Larson, and Steve and Connie Bergo.

“Lake Country Wind Energy and Root River Energy’s community-based wind model provides many benefits for landowners and their local economies,” says Jack Levi, Co-Chair of National Wind. “A large portion of the development proceeds from these projects are retained in the community. Landowners have the opportunity to participate on many levels, including helping steer the development process to effectively benefit their local communities. It is easy to see why these types of projects have strong, local support.”

National Wind partnered with community members in Dodge, Olmsted, and Mower Counties last year to form Minnesota’s first large-scale community wind project, High Country Energy, LLC. This 300 megawatt project currently has 150 megawatts committed to Wisconsin Public Service Corporation.

“I am eager to get to work on the Lake Country Wind Energy board,” says Steve Bergo, a local board member. “The investment of my time and money in this project is different from anything I’ve been involved in before. I have the opportunity to really make a difference in my local economy and environment. My goal is to get other community members as energized about the project as I am.”

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