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Published January 21, 2010, 12:00 AM

Osceola Windpower project slated for March completion

OCHEYEDAN, Iowa — A wind turbine-related project in northwest Iowa is still on schedule to be completed by March, despite a consistent stream of severe winter weather.

OCHEYEDAN, Iowa — A wind turbine-related project in northwest Iowa is still on schedule to be completed by March, despite a consistent stream of severe winter weather.

When construction is finished on the 5,000-square-foot operations and maintenance building on Ocheyedan’s main street, workers at Osceola Windpower, a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources, will move there from the Harris building they have occupied since late 2007.

“We purchased this project from another company; they had already built an operations and maintenance building, which we moved into,” explained Mary Wells, a community outreach representative for Florida-based NextEra. “But we feel that this is not the best location. The building doesn’t suit us as well as the standard building we build at our sites.”

The building, to be called the Endeavor Wind Energy Center, won’t have the drainage concerns of the current operations center in Harris. It will also have “more storage, much better working space for our staff … and being in town will be a good thing for the (employees),” said Wells, speaking for production manager Rick Reiter.

The building will have standard NextEra features, including offices for staff, a truck bay and ample storage for smaller repair parts and tools.

The new facility will house operations and maintenance for 60 wind turbines near Harris. It will serve as the headquarters for 11 employees, including a number of wind turbine maintenance technicians.

The new building is also expected to increase tax revenue in Ocheyedan during the next 20 years. The 2.5-acre parcel of land on which it sits will change classification from agricultural to commercial, resulting in higher property taxes, said Ocheyedan Mayor Arlyn Pedley.

According to a fact sheet provided by Wells, the center’s 60 2.5-megawatt Clipper wind turbines are capable of generating enough electricity to power 45,000 homes.

NextEra Energy Resources is the largest wind generator in the country with approximately 17,000 megawatts of generating capacity in 25 states and Canada.

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