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Facts about the Paynesville wind farm

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Facts about the Paynesville wind farm
Willmar Minnesota 2208 Trott Ave. SW / P.O. Box 839 56201

Geronimo Wind is proposing a wind farm near Paynesville to produce 95 megawatts of power. It will be the first large-scale wind farm in Stearns County.


The company has signed wind easements that cover 18 square miles and 11,500 to 12,000 acres north of Paynesville and east of Lake Henry. The leases are primarily in Paynesville and Lake Henry townships, with some in Spring Hill and Zion townships.

The proposed wind farm will have from 41 to 63 turbines. The number of turbines will vary, because turbines from different suppliers generate different amounts of electricity.

Each turbine needs 160 acres of land, so a wind farm can have four turbines per section.

Each turbine uses about one acre of land, including an access road.

The company estimates its economic impact to be:

n Total investment -- nearly $200 million.

n Landowner revenue boost -- $700,000 a year.

n Tax revenue to Stearns County -- $304,000 a year.

n Tax revenue to local townships and communities -- $76,000 a year.

n Job creation -- more than 100 construction jobs; 8-10 full-time jobs.

n Community outreach projects -- $19,000 a year.

Linda Vanderwerf

I cover education issues for the West Central Tribune and have worked for the paper since 1995. I have worked in journalism since 1981.

Follow me on Twitter: @lindavanderwerf

(320) 214-4340