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We’re pretty energized about our community wind project in Northeast South Dakota. It’s by far the biggest community wind project in the state and it’s coming along quite nicely. Dakota Wind Energy has signed over 40,000 acres!

Here’s the release:

Dakota Wind Energy Signs Over 40,000 Acres With Plans To Develop South Dakota’s Largest Community-Owned Wind Farm

Eden, South Dakota – August 27, 2008- Dakota Wind Energy, LLC, a South Dakota community-owned wind development company, achieved an important project milestone today. They now have over 40,000 acres of land under option in connection with its plans to develop South Dakota’s largest community-based wind farm in Day, Roberts and Marshall Counties. This is over half the acres needed to develop wind projects up to an aggregate of 750 megawatts. 750 megawatts of wind projects require approximately 75,000 acres of land for development.

“The landowner interest in our project has been immense, especially with our recently announced intrastate public offering,” says Pete Karlsson, a local project field specialist. “Most landowners who have granted Dakota Wind Energy wind related rights are choosing to become owners in the project company. Everyone involved in this development is extremely dedicated to creating a project that gives landowners the opportunity for potential long-term ownership benefits. These are benefits non-community-based wind development cannot offer.”

Site control is an important part of Dakota Wind Energy’s development process. The local project field specialists in the area, Pete Karlsson, Charlie Kraemer and Brian Stuart, will continue working with landowners on a frequent basis. Dakota Wind Energy hopes to build its first project phase in the next 3 to 5 years.

“We expect our project to be here for the long-term and we want to be proud of how it fits in with the community,” says Mark Lucas, Vice President of National Wind, the manager of Dakota Wind Energy. “Not only is this project designed to provide landowners with an potential income resource and keep additional dollars within the community, we expect it will also provide a source of skilled ‘sustainable’ jobs to the project area. Because the project is intended to create clean, renewable energy, these would be “environmentally preferred” jobs that would not add to air pollution or create additional greenhouse gas emissions.”

Wind Powering America and the National Renewable Energy Lab report that every 100 megawatts of installed wind capacity creates, on average, 10-20 permanent, local jobs and 40-140 temporary, construction jobs, including meteorologists, surveyors, structural engineers, assembly workers, lawyers, bankers, and technicians. Windustry reports that wind energy creates 30% more jobs than a coal plant and 66% more than a nuclear power plant per unit of energy generated.

“We want this project to have a positive, local impact on the community and we are confident that we are heading in that direction,” says Karlsson. “We expect our project alone to add about 75-150 permanent, local jobs and about 300 -1000 temporary, construction jobs to the three-county area.” To learn more about how to participate in this project, please contact Pete, Charlie or Brian at Dakota Wind Energy’s Eden office number: (605) 884-5515.


Eden, South Dakota – July 18, 2008 – Dakota Wind Energy, LLC, a South Dakota community-owned wind development company, announces an intrastate public offering of its securities. This offering is only open to South Dakota resident landowners who grant wind-related rights to Dakota Wind Energy. Dakota Wind Energy plans to develop over 750 megawatts of community-owned wind farms in Roberts, Marshall and Day Counties in South Dakota.

“We want landowners participating in Dakota Wind Energy to have the opportunity to own units in the company,” says Gerry Fisher, a member of the Dakota Wind Energy board of advisors. “An intrastate public offering makes this possible. It also allows us to return a portion of the development proceeds to Dakota Wind Energy members over a long-term period.”

All South Dakota landowners that reside within the project’s footprint may receive ownership units in Dakota Wind Energy. Landowners who grant wind-related rights to Dakota Wind Energy can receive either a traditional cash payment, or units in Dakota Wind Energy through this offering.

“Shared ownership is what makes Dakota Wind Energy different from traditional wind developers,” says Mark Lucas, Vice President of National Wind. “Most other developers do not offer ownership; they only provide turbine lease agreements. In our wind developments, even if landowners do not end up with a wind turbine on their property, they still have the opportunity to own a part of Dakota Wind Energy. More than any other private offering structure, an intrastate public offering allows for the greatest number of local landowners to participate.”

The number of units offered to each resident landowner is dependent on the amount of acres subject to the wind easement granted by the landowner. The wind easements secured through this offering will help Dakota Wind Energy develop up to 750 megawatts of wind projects.

“Dakota Wind Energy plans to develop its projects in 100-150 megawatt phases up to a total of 750 megawatts,” says Lucas. “The economic benefits of owning units may be seen as each phase moves into commercial operation and also when the appropriate agreements are entered into with regional utility companies.” Dakota Wind Energy plans to build its first phase within the next three to five years.

All units will be sold directly to local South Dakota investors without use of a broker-dealer or agent. Sales of securities will only be made after interested investors have received and reviewed a prospectus. Interested investors can obtain more information on this project at

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.”

June 12, 2008

High Country Energy, LLC, along with its manager National Wind, LLC, announce today the nation’s first intrastate public offering of a wind project’s securities. Delphi Financial Corp., an investment banking firm specializing in raising capital for community-based renewable energy projects, is the placement agent for the offering. High Country Energy, LLC plans to build over 300 megawatts of community-owned wind farms in Dodge, Olmsted and Mower Counties, Minnesota.

“This offering can be made available to interested investors throughout the state of Minnesota, however it was very important to all of us in High Country to ensure that landowners within the project footprint have the first opportunity to invest,” says Barry Rogne, Chairman of the High Country Energy board of advisors. “This offering is consistent with our company’s goals of sharing ownership with a large cross section of our community.”

Investing in renewable energy capacity is becoming a worldwide trend, according to the World Watch Institute. In 2007, the Institute reported 36 billion dollars of worldwide investment in wind energy alone.“An intrastate public offering is a way the local, rural communities can become a part of this trend. In comparison to a private placement offering, which is typical in the renewable energy industry, this intrastate public offering will allow us to offer investment opportunities to a greater number of people, as long as they are residents of Minnesota,” says Ryan Pelstring, Vice President of Capital Markets, Delphi Financial Corp. Shared ownership is an important part of High Country Energy’s community-based development model. Ownership can provide more benefits than the standard turbine lease arrangements offered by traditional wind farm developers.

“By providing this investment opportunity for area landowners, we hope potential benefits from High Country Energy’s projects permeate the local community more deeply and further our goals for community ownership,” says Mark Lucas, Vice President of National Wind, and Project Lead for High Country Energy.

In addition to area landowners and those already involved in the project, this offering is open to any Minnesota resident who meets investor suitability requirements. Sales of securities are made only through Delphi Financial Corp. and only after interested investors have received and reviewed a prospectus. Interested investors can obtain more information at

May 20 , 2008

National Wind Assessments announced today its agreement to install ten 60-meter meteorological (met) towers for Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) throughout the state of Nebraska. NPPD requested proposals from several wind assessment companies earlier this year, and awarded National Wind Assessments the contract. In addition, National Wind Assessments will provide wind data collection services for all ten met towers. The state’s largest electric utility, NPPD serves approximately one million people in Nebraska.

Nebraska ranks sixth in the country in wind power potential, but currently ranks 19th in installed capacity, with just 73 MW of existing projects. As the primary owner and developer of a 60 MW wind energy facility in Ainsworth, NPPD has led the charge for wind power development in Nebraska.

Meteorological towers are becoming a crucial component of every wind development project. Typically a minimum of one year, on-site wind data is needed to effectively site a wind farm.
“We are pleased to provide our wind assessment services to Nebraska’s leading utility company,” says Kevin Romuld, President of National Wind Assessments. “We are excited NPPD chose us to help capture Nebraska’s wind resources and we look forward to working with them on this project,” says Romuld. “I think being chosen as part of the RFP process, validates National Wind Assessment’s expertise and efficiency in met tower installation and wind resource analysis.”

The ten met tower installations will be split into two phases. The first phase of installation and data collection will begin this month.

May 30, 2008

A safety, work-gear manufacturer doesn’t usually give a product endorsement to a wind power developer, until now. On May 30th, National Wind Assessments announced that it has received an endorsement contract from Ergodyne Work Gear, based out of St. Paul, Minnesota.

But the question remains, why would Ergodyne endorse a wind-related company?

“National Wind Assessments and its parent company, National Wind have received a lot of press coverage and will soon be featured in an episode of Sustainable Planet, on National Geographic. When the filming takes place, they will be wearing our products,” says Howard Huber, Marketing Director, Ergodyne Work Gear. “We strongly believe in creating partnerships and relationships with high profile companies such as this, to showcase our innovative products.”

National Wind Assessments will utilize the company’s safety products, such as gloves, outerwear, back supports, and visibility vests while they complete on-site installations of meteorological towers and when they are photographed and filmed. National Wind Assessments will also be featured in Ergodyne’s upcoming promotional materials.

April 30, 2008

National Wind, LLC, announces today that Tryg Sarsland will join National Wind as Vice President and Director of Project Finance. Formerly, Mr. Sarsland was Vice-President at Meridian Companies, LLC, in Boston, Massachusetts. Throughout his career, he has structured and syndicated financings for over $4,000,000,000 of renewable energy projects.

“National Wind has over 4,000 megawatts of renewable energy projects under development in six states, with the number of megawatts in development growing each month,” says Jack Levi, co-chair of National Wind. “Wind projects, involve highly complex financing structures and we anticipate on increasing the volume of these transactions over the next few years. Tryg will lead our project finance function. Tryg, as one of the nation’s leading experts in renewable energy finance, will hit the ground running.”

Prior to his position at Meridian, Mr. Sarsland worked at ANZ Investment Bank where he structured and syndicated the debt side of renewable energy projects. Mr. Sarsland is a graduate of St. John’s University and holds a MBA in finance from St. Cloud State University.

April 25, 2008

Dakota Wind Energy announces today that two on-site meteorological towers were installed for the state’s first large-scale community-based wind development. Both wind towers are located in Marshall County. Ongoing wind data will be collected from these towers to accurately assess the wind regime in the area. A minimum of one year of continuous, on-site, wind data is needed for effective site evaluation and wind turbine placement.

“Since Dakota Wind’s formation several months ago, we have seen many exciting development activities play out, and this is one of them,” says Don Erickson, a South Dakota landowner and Dakota Wind Energy board member. “As a community-based wind company, landowners have the chance to participatein various stages of the development process, and have a ownership interest in the company. We are proud of the progress we are making, and each step is a building block toward a wind development that will provide a great economic resource for the community.” Dakota Wind Energy was formed earlier this year, when National Wind, the developer and co-owner of this project, partnered with a group of local landowners. These landowners, along with National Wind, have worked together to capitalize this project and began project development.

National Wind Assessments, based in Grand Forks, ND, the recognized leader in wind resource analysis, completed the meteorological installations. National Wind Assessments is the wind analysis division of National Wind. National Wind Assessments will install a 3rd meteorological tower for Dakota Wind Energy, in the near future.“Specific-on-site wind data is needed to help determine the best turbine locations for commercial wind energy production,” says Kevin Romuld, President on National Wind Assessments. “This data helps provide a complete picture of the impact a new wind farm might have on the surrounding terrain, before it is built,” says Romuld.

Over the last several months, Dakota Wind Energy held meetings in Eden, Britton, and Peever,
to introduce the Dakota Wind Energy project to the community. Over 300 landowners attended the meetings along with area legislators.

“The meetings proved to be successful and showed the community’s and the legislators’ strong support for the project,” says Curtis Samson, a South Dakota landowner and a Dakota Wind Energy Board Member. “People are definitely very receptive to our community ownership model. Landowners have the chance to have their voices heard and take part in a project that is a once in-a lifetime opportunity.”

April 18, 2008

National Wind, LLC announced today the appointment of Terry Lynner to its Board of Directors. Mr. Lynner brings more than twenty years of experience in securities law and investment banking.

“We are extremely pleased to welcome Terry to the board. His breadth of knowledge in business and law in diverse industries, along with his proven leadership skills, will surely be valuable assets to our growing company,” says Leon Steinberg, chief executive officer, National Wind.

Lynner currently serves as a managing director of Lazard Middle Market, formerly Goldsmith Agio Helms.

Previously, Lynner was a vice president for Piper Jaffray, a regional investment banking firm. His experience in corporate finance services includes mergers and acquisitions representation, public underwriting and private placement of debt and equity securities, and leveraged buy-out strategies and financing. Lynner also has extensive experience in securities law, having practiced both in private practice and as securities counsel for Norwest Mortgage. He is also a Certified Public Accountant.

Mr. Lynner joins the existing board members, Patrick Pelstring, Jack Levi, Gene McGowan and Leon Steinberg.

March 14, 2008

High Country Energy, LLC, and Wisconsin Public Service Corporation (WPSC), a subsidiary of Integrys Energy Group, Inc. (NYSE: TEG), announced today that WPSC has signed a letter of intent to acquire a 150 Megawatt (MW) portion of the High Country wind project. The High Country Wind Energy Park, located in Dodge and Olmsted Counties, Minnesota, is planned to include a total of over 300MW?s.

“This development and sale of the first phase of the High Country Energy project is a very positive opportunity for our local community,” says Patrick Pelstring, co-chair of National Wind. National Wind is a minority owner and the managing member of High Country. “We are excited to work with a successful and respected utility such as WPSC on this project. A sale of a portion of this project helps diversify High Country Energy?s income stream and adds to the overall scale of the project, making it more competitive. The majority of the proceeds from the sale will remain within the community.”

WPSC expects to complete construction on the project in a timeframe coinciding with the timeline set by the Midwest Independent System Operator (MISO) for transmitting the electricity.

“With the increases in renewable energy in our region, we have to be „in line? at MISO to get our energy into the system,” said WPSC General Manager for renewable resources, Charlie Severance. “In partnership with High Country, we are planning to immediately initiate the permitting and transmission processes.”

“We anticipate we will have the answers we need in the next two years and construction will start once the interconnection schedule is firmed up.”

National Wind, LLC partnered with the community to form and capitalize High Country Energy, LLC early in 2007. This project sale is only one part of High Country Energy?s project portfolio, which will consist of additional phases that will be developed in the coming years. Additional phases are expected to be developed and financed by High Country so the community can realize the additional long-term economic benefits of a wind development.

“At WPSC, we are committed to the communities we serve and dedicated to helping them improve their local economies,” says Severance. “For this reason, we are excited to work closely with High Country Energy and the local landowners, helping them build an economically viable project for their community. The wind power generated from this project will help us secure an important competitive and efficient energy resource for our growing customer base in Wisconsin.”

The High Country Energy Wind Park is situated on more than 70 square miles of agricultural land in Eastern Dodge and western Olmsted County, near the border of the two counties. As proposed, this first phase will include an estimated 100 turbines, providing up to 150 MW?s of capacity, or enough energy to power 44,000 homes. The energy from this first project phase will be delivered to WPSC?s service territory, consisting of a large portion of northeast and central Wisconsin and a small part of Upper Michigan.

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