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OwnEnergy develops mid-sized utility scale wind projects (10-80 megawatts) for commercial purposes, using utility scale wind turbines (1 MW and above). While our projects are smaller than the typical commercial wind farm (which typically are in excess of 100 MW), they still require large amounts of land.
OwnEnergy partners are entrepreneurs with access to property where there is an abundant energy resource (wind, solar, biomass, etc.), who are interested in the potential to convert that resource into renewable power. Often one of the following scenarios is true of potential clients: You know your land is windy, or there may be other renewable energy development projects in your area. But you would prefer to build your own renewable energy business. You may have a renewable energy development project underway, but the complexity and capital requirements are beginning to mount and you’re unsure of next steps. You are a manufacturing company, academic institution, professional developer, local utility or electric-cooperative interested in generating renewable power for wholesale, retail, or commercial markets. OwnEnergy can help in all of the above situations. Our typical projects are locally-owned wind power facilities with generating capacities between 10-80 MW.
If the initial screening and site feasibility studies are favorable, OwnEnergy will form a partnership with you during the development process. We will provide you with step-by-step advice and tailored resources for managing many of the locally-oriented phases of development, including site preparation, resource assessment, permitting, interconnection, and early-stage power off-taker negotiations. You will gain access to the contracts (power sales and construction), equipment (turbines or other renewable energy equipment), and capital you will need to build your project. We will ensure construction is managed properly, on time, and on budget—with on-site assistance from you. OwnEnergy also provides access to ongoing operation and maintenance service providers, while enabling you to stay involved in your renewable energy business.
Under the OwnEnergy model, the landowner is responsible for acquiring the meteorological tower, securing additional land option/lease agreements, and providing “sweat equity” towards the development of the project. The total installed cost of a wind farm often exceeds $20 million, but most of these costs are financed through OwnEnergy’s outside investment partners.
While utility scale wind farms do cover a lot of acreage, the wind turbines, access roads, and electrical equipment will typically not take more than 2% of the land out of productive use. Farming operations and ranching can typically occur up to very close to the base of the wind turbine foundation. Collection cables will be run underground, three to four feet below the surface. Access roads will typically connect the wind turbine to the closest main road.
Significant risks exist in the project development and construction stages, with moderate to low risk during the operations stage. Development and construction stage risks include timing delays, budget overdraws, and fatal flaws that prevent project completion. Operations risks include lower-than-budgeted wind resource, turbine mechanical problems, power market volatility, and transmission line congestion. Risk management and allocation is crucial to successful and profitable project development. Managing risk is OwnEnergy’s core competency
In a traditional wind lease arrangement, if the project is constructed on the landowner’s property, the developer pays the landowner a royalty based on output. This provides a steady stream of cash to the landowner, although the landowner’s upside potential is limited. The landowner is also not involved in the decision-making for the project. Alternatively, some landowners choose to develop their own projects independently, with the help of OwnEnergy. We offer you a unique value proposition that includes our resources and guidance for the earlier, locally-oriented aspects of development, as well as our active participation in the later, structuring-intensive aspects, which involve contracts, equipment and capital.
Understand Your Wind ResourceDetermine Proximity to Existing Transmission LinesSecure Access to LandEstablish Access to CapitalIdentify Reliable Power Purchaser or MarketAddress Siting and Project Feasibility ConsiderationsUnderstand Wind Energy's EconomicsObtain Zoning and Permitting ExpertiseTurbine ProcurementSecure Agreement to Meet Operation & Management
We ask that landowners have a minimum of 500 acres per 10 MW (approximately seven 1.5 MW turbines). If the landowner does not have sufficient land to reach a desired project size, he or she may partner with neighbors or lease the neighbor’s land in order to reach the wanted size. Wind turbines require spacing from each other as well as from sensitive environmental areas.
Typically 2-3 years but varies case by case. It takes 12 months of wind data collection alone before financing can be obtained for a wind project.
Thanks to new technology and engineering, large wind turbines are actually very quiet. At distances of more than 600 feet any sound associated with an operating turbine is usually veiled completely by the sound of the wind itself
Utility-scale wind turbines come in various sizes, with rotor diameters ranging from 164 feet to 295 feet, and with towers of roughly 196 feet to 328 feet
The size of the turbine determines how much energy can be produced. For example, a 1.5MW turbine can produce enough electricity for about 400 homes each year.
Safety is a primary concern. In general, wind turbines are typically placed a minimum of 1000 feet from houses. In addition, turbines have many automatic safety features including shutdown at high wind speeds and lightning protection.
Wildlife studies are conducted early in the project development cycle to ensure the project is designed in the most environmentally friendly way possible. Birds and bats occasionally do collide with wind turbines, however these collisions account for a very small number of annual fatalities. The National Audubon Society strongly supports properly-sited wind projects.
Community ownership may provide the solution for increasing resistance to wind power in the United States.
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