Hometown Wind Power Program

City Wind Turbine in Need of Repair

Several months ago, the wind turbine was shut down as a precaution against any potential problems. The materials that were used initially in the construction of the turbine are now in need of replacement. The City is currently in the bid process for replacement work.

North St. Paul is one of 11 Minnesota cities to have a wind turbine to create clean, renewable electricity under the Hometown Wind Power program. Hometown Wind Power turbines contribute to MMPA’s requirement under Minnesota law to achieve a goal of 25% of its power used to be from renewable resources by 2025.

Hometown Wind Power is an initiative of the Minnesota Municipal Power Agency (MMPA) with member utilities in Anoka, Arlington, Brownton, Buffalo, Chaska, East Grand Forks, Le Sueur, North St. Paul, Olivia, Shakopee, and Winthrop. The program was designed by Avant Energy, also the designer of MMPA’s Faribault Energy Park electric generation facility that celebrated its grand opening in 2007.

North St. Paul wind turbine turns 10, is shut down for maintenance 

Appeared in the Lillie Newspaper on March 5, 2019. 

It’s been a decade since the city began building the wind turbine towering over the North St. Paul electric utility building on North St. Paul Drive. In that time, the turbine has become a city icon. When it was built, the turbine was constructed with used materials from a west coast desert wind farm. Those materials, having being adjusted to adapt to a much colder environment, are about ready to be replaced.

As a precaution against any potential problems, the turbine was shut down about three months ago ahead of the replacement work, said city electric director Brian Frandle. North St. Paul is one of 11 Minnesota cities with a wind turbine. All cities are part of the Minnesota Municipal Power Agency, which was designed to find ways to create clean, renewable electricity. All member city turbines have been shut down for replacement work.

The Margaret Street turbine doesn’t generate that much energy. North St. Paul isn’t a consistently windy city — its average 11 mph wind speed doesn’t push the turbine to full capacity, as it needs about 26 mph winds to max out, said Frandle. On average, the North St. Paul turbine would barely power the electric utility building. “[It] could probably run 50 smaller homes,” Frandle said. The turbine is more of a statement from the city and its residents to the public, said Frandle. The message? “We are dedicated to sustainable energy.”

The city is currently reviewing bids for replacing turbine material.

About the Program


North St. Paul is one of 11 Minnesota cities to have a wind turbine to create clean, renewable electricity under the Hometown Wind Power program.

Hometown Wind Power is an initiative of the Minnesota Municipal Power Agency (MMPA) with member utilities in Anoka, Arlington, Brownton, Buffalo, Chaska, East Grand Forks, Le Sueur, North St. Paul, Olivia, Shakopee, and Winthrop. The program was designed by Avant Energy, also the designer of MMPA’s Faribault Energy Park electric generation facility that celebrated its grand opening in 2007.

The location for the turbine in each community is determined by local permitting authorities.

Program Benefits


“Wind power is most efficient when it can be used at the point of generation, rather than being transmitted many miles away,” said Avant Energy president Derick Dahlen. “Hometown Wind Power will put power generation right into the community where it will be used, and it will happen using a clean, endlessly renewable source of power.”

Dave Pokorney, chairman of MMPA and former Chaska city administrator, said every city in the MMPA system can be proud of hosting a turbine.

“All the benefits stay local,” Pokorney said.  “Each city gets locally-generated power that is carbon-free, renewable and environmentally responsible.”


Vision for the Future


Pokorney said the Hometown Wind Power turbines will contribute to MMPA’s requirement under Minnesota law to achieve a goal of 25% of its power used to be from renewable resources by 2025.  He said MMPA currently purchases wind and hydro power from outside sources, along with generating electricity from its owned facilities, including Faribault Energy Park.

Dahlen pointed out that in this age of environmental awareness, this program is an opportunity for MMPA member communities to become a part of the solution to energy needs in the state with a renewable source that helps avoid the need for building undesirable coal-fired plants.


About MMPA


MMPA is committed to providing its 11 member communities with competitively priced, reliable, and sustainable energy. Avant Energy serves as MMPA’s energy management company, including developing generation facilities, as well as buying and selling energy for MMPA. For more information, please visit the MMPA website.

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