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Renville County wind project gathering support

BIRD ISLAND -- A proposal to develop a 20- to 26-turbine wind farm in Renville County has reached an important milestone, according to its sponsors.

Norfolk Wind Energy LLC., announced recently that landowners in the targeted area have signed up 5,000 acres as potential sites for the turbines.

That represents the majority of the land that is needed to construct the wind farm, but additional landowner involvement is needed, according to Norfolk Wind.

David Scheibel, one of the founders of the project, said that that the ability to sign up 5,000 acres in a few months time indicates that there is strong public support for the venture. Norfolk Wind Energy was launched as a community-based project. It would assure that a portion of the project's proceeds are shared with local investors, landowners and the surrounding communities.

The project aims to provide 40,000 megawatts of electric capacity, or enough to power roughly 12,000 homes, according to the company.

It has an office in Bird Island and is working on the project in partnership with National Wind LLC.