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Welcome. A Case Study in Community Wind New Ulm Public Utilities Commission - Success with Due Diligence. Introduction. Advanced wind resource assessment brings success to community wind developments. Defining Community Wind. What is community wind? Is it… Size? Location? Economics?

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A Case Study in Community Wind

New Ulm Public Utilities Commission -

Success with Due Diligence


Advanced wind resource assessment brings

success to community

wind developments

Defining community wind
Defining Community Wind

  • What is community wind?

  • Is it…

    • Size?

    • Location?

    • Economics?

  • Community-based wind energy development is partially owned by local land owners or local stake holders

Who is new ulm public utilities commission
Who is New Ulm Public Utilities Commission?

  • New Ulm Public Utilities Commission (NUPUC) is a municipal utility serving ~6,000 consumers

  • Goal to identify an economically viable and long-term new electrical generation resource

  • NUPUC analyzed ~10 options for existing and new generation

    • NUPUC ascertained that wind was the most competitive long-term

  • Called for RFP’s form third party power producers

    • This was unsuccessful because third party vendors were too costly

Nupuc and wind energy
NUPUC and Wind Energy

  • Advanced methodology wind resource assessment enabled NUPUC to make time and risk sensitive decisions

    • By providing detailed long-term analysis in weeks vs. years

      • Leads to making time sensitive and capital investment decisions

    • Robust methodology and detailed analysis results were used in the economic analysis

    • 3D gridded data vs. singular met data

      • Giving high detail across the entire development site

    • Long term data analysis vs. 1-year data

    • Provided opportunity-cost benefits and project planning advantages

      • Original wind turbine cost estimates were for $1,200/kW, now $1,500/kW


  • NUPUC has completed their economic projections

    • Determined that they need 5 MW of wind energy

    • They were able to scope and model project cost

    • They will achieve their MN RPS mandate

      • (Renewable Portfolio Standard)

    • They will be able to use CREB’s for their project

      • (Clean Renewable Energy Bonds – IRS website)

    • Project output and projected revenue are now known

  • NUPUC’s high confidence in economic projections started with detailed wind resource analysis

Determining economic benefit
Determining Economic Benefit

  • Three main initial due diligence components:

    • Wind speed

    • Access to transmission/site constructability

    • Economic analysis

Wind resource assessment value
Wind Resource Assessment Value

  • Long term wind resource assessment provided NUPUC with valuable data

    • P-95 wind speed is around 7 to 7.5 m/s annual average

  • NUPUC has less risk in spending capital

    • Interconnection studies and permitting

    • Met tower assessment

    • Turbine vendors down payments

    • Balance Of Plant design

  • High value at the beginning of project

Next steps for nupuc
Next Steps for NUPUC?

  • The challenges of being local – working with your neighbors

  • Further planning and investment is now feasible

    • BOP

    • Local stakeholder negotiations

    • Validation of wind speed

    • Financing

    • Permitting

    • Maintenance contracts

  • Building in 2009 2010 season

Points to remember
Points to Remember

  • Community wind is economically viable and valuable to communities

  • Advanced wind resource assessment mitigates long-term and near-term capital and time sensitive risk issues

  • The development process is sensitive – work with and educate your neighbors about the advantages of community based wind

  • Successful community wind is based not just on economics but also local ownership and involvement

Thank you
Thank you!

  • Wind energy is great for communities – local wind farms empower communities

  • A special thank you to Pat Wrase and the New Ulm Public Utilities Commission

    Yusef Orest

    WindLogics Inc