Scholarships, Along with Community Fund, Add to Local Benefits of Project
WILMONT, Minnesota – Nobles 2 Power Partners, LLC, owner of the Nobles 2 wind farm, a 250-megawatt (MW) facility in southwest Minnesota, is pleased to announce a new college scholarship program for students graduating from Adrian, Fulda and Worthington high schools. The scholarships, along with a previously announced community fund, are the latest benefits that the wind farm brings to Nobles County.
Located near Wilmont in Nobles County, the 250-megawatt Nobles 2 wind farm became operational in December 2020. Comprised of 74 Vestas turbines, the facility produces renewable energy under a 20-year power purchase agreement with Minnesota Power, a utility division of ALLETE, Inc. based in Duluth.
Owner Nobles 2 Power Partners, LLC is comprised of affiliates of Tenaska, ALLETE, Inc. and Bright Canyon Energy.
Tenaska, an energy company based in Omaha, Nebraska, manages scholarship programs in communities where its power generating facilities are located. To date, Tenaska has contributed nearly $1 million in scholarships to approximately 1,000 students across the United States.
“We value education and the role it plays in developing future leaders,” said John Beacom, Tenaska director of asset management. “These college scholarships will foster continued success for these promising Nobles County high school students.”
The program will award a total of $3,000 in scholarships annually, starting with the class of 2022. Three $1,000 scholarships will be awarded each spring to a college-bound student who attends one of the public high schools in the vicinity of the wind farm: Adrian High School, Fulda High School or Worthington High School. The money can be applied toward two- or four-year post-secondary education programs at accredited institutions.
A committee at Tenaska’s headquarters will select the scholarship recipients. Preference will be given to students who demonstrate that they are prepared for higher education, rank in the top half of their class, have good character and show financial need.
Scholarship applications will be available starting Sept. 27 through school guidance counselors. Completed applications must be submitted no later than Feb. 11, 2022. Winners will be announced in the spring.
Grants Applications for Community Fund to be Accepted Soon
To coincide with the start of construction in 2019, Nobles 2 Power Partners established a community fund to support programs near the wind farm, including the townships of Bloom, Larkin, Lismore, Leota, Summit Lake and Wilmont. Nobles 2 Power Partners will contribute $15,000 annually for the next 20 years, with the first awards to be handed out in the fourth quarter of this year.
The community fund is being administered by Southwest Initiative Foundation, a nonprofit foundation that promotes community-building in southwest Minnesota. A volunteer committee of local residents will be soliciting grant applications and determining how funds will be awarded. Committee members are: Jared Brake (vice chairman), Jim Cowan (chairman and treasurer), Dave Henning, Troy Loosbrock, Nobles County Commissioner Gene Metz (secretary), Marlene Rabenberg and Diane Schettler.
To submit a grant application for 2021, please contact the committee at [email protected] Applications are due Oct. 15.
Construction and Operations Yields Economic Benefits
Construction of the Nobles 2 wind farm represents a significant investment in the regional economy. Through Mortenson, the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor, approximately 150 craft workers were hired from the local area and approximately $15.5 million in contracts were awarded to businesses in the region.
The Nobles 2 wind farm is supported by an operations team of 14 local employees staffed though NAES Corporation and Vestas. The facility is anticipated to result in increased tax revenue of more than $1.1 million annually to local units of government and will diversify land use and provide stable income to landowners through lease payments.