Juhl Wind Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: JUHL), the Leader in Community Wind Power, today announced that it recently began construction of its Grant County Wind Farm project located near Hoffman, Minn., in the central western area of Minnesota. The $40 million project is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2010. Grant County Wind Farm is a classic Juhl Wind styled community based energy development that includes several local farmers and other area residents as part owners of the project.
"We are very proud to announce the startup of construction on our Grant County project," stated Dan Juhl, CEO of Juhl Wind Inc. "As industry observers know all too well, it has been very difficult to get projects financed since the recession hit our economy. Our ability to structure the construction financing in order to build this project is a testament to our team's credibility in the community wind arena. Depending on weather, we expect to have the bulk of this project completed by the end of this year and be left with clean-ups and commissioning in the early part of 2010."
Our wholly-owned subsidiary Juhl Energy Development, Inc. is the developer and construction manager of the Grant County Wind Farm. The project is utilizing 10 Suzlon S88 wind turbines and when operating at full capacity will produce 20 megawatts of energy - enough to power 7,000 homes in the area. Suzlon Energy Limited (SEL) is the world's third largest turbine supplier and includes Suzlon Wind Energy Corporation, located in Chicago, as its North American subsidiary. Suzlon is contracted to be the service and warranty supplier to the Grant County Wind Farm. The general contractor for the project is Fagen Inc., a leading regional contractor based in Granite Falls, Minnesota. The project is being built with construction financing that must be replaced with additional equity and long-term debt after the wind farm is fully operational and accepted. Juhl Wind will lead the effort to raise additional funding at that time.
"The launch of our Grant County project represents a significant step in our company's growth plan," added John Mitola, President of Juhl Wind Inc. "Juhl Wind is one of a very small handful of wind developers that are building any sizable community wind farms this year and we think that sets us apart from others in the space. It is one thing to develop a large pipeline of projects, but it is perhaps more important to demonstrate that we can get projects built like Grant County. In addition, construction of this wind farm will provide a significant boost to our revenue in the latter part of 2009."
"We're excited to be a part of this community-run wind farm project to help generate clean wind power and revenue for farmers and towns in the region," said Andy Cukurs, CEO of Suzlon Wind Energy Co. "Currently, community-run projects are rare in the U.S., but the Grant County project is proof that renewable energy can be actualized in a variety of ways."
The project is interconnected with Otter Tail Power Company and Northern States Power (NSP) is purchasing the clean power. The Grant County Wind Farm will join Otter Tail's existing 45 megawatts of renewable energy on the grid, while NSP -- a leading electric utility company -- will purchase the wind power for its service territory.