ATWATER -- The permitting process to install 20 wind turbines in Meeker and Kandiyohi counties is under way, with a community meeting set for 6:30 p.m. Monday at the Atwater Community Center.
The meeting will include information about the site permit for the first phase of Lake Country Wind Energy's 340-megawatt development that includes installation of 20 turbines that will generate a total of 41 megawatts of renewable energy.
The turbines will be located in Swede Grove and Acton townships in west central Meeker County and in Gennessee, Harrison and Kandiyohi townships in Kandiyohi County.
Once the permitting is completed, the turbines could be constructed late this year or early next year.
The site permit application was submitted Aug. 4 to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.
The meeting Monday will include a project update to answer questions about the permitting process for the initial 20 turbines.
Lake Country Wind Energy LLC also recently installed one of the tallest meteorological towers in Minnesota. The 328-foot lattice structure is located in Gennessee Township.
Analysis of data from this new tower, as well as a 197-foot tower in Harrison Township, will be used to complete a two-year wind study in September.
According to the company, initial analysis indicates the development area of Lake Country Wind has a viable wind resource.
The tall tower "enables us to efficiently assess the wind energy resource, reduce the uncertainty and validates the wind regime of the project area," said Kevin Romuld, president of National Wind Assessments, which helped develop Lake Country Wind Energy.
Wind data will be used to calculate energy production estimates, ultimately identifying the best locations to site wind turbines.
The new data will "supplement existing data documented in our permit application, further enhancing our knowledge of the wind regime in the area," said Chuck Burdick, lead developer for Lake Country Wind Energy.
Lake Country Wind Energy was founded in July of 2008 and has the participation of more than 300 landowners with 26,500 acres of land under easement.