Juhl Wind Expands Into Turbine Service, Maintenance

Community wind developer Juhl Wind (JUHL.OB) has expanded into wind turbine service and maintenance.

Juhl Wind pioneered the concept of community wind farms – they are owned by the people who’s land they are sited on. They’ve completed 18 wind farms and are focused on projects in the US and Canada. Juhl developed the financial, operational and legal structure that provides local ownership of medium-to-large scale wind farms.

The company services every aspect of wind farm development from full development and ownership, general consultation, construction management and system operations and maintenance. 

Juhl announced it secured a two-year, $900,000 contract to service two multi-megawatt wind farms in West Central Minnesota owned by Alstom (ALO.PA).

Juhl completed the development and construction of the Adams and Danielson wind farms for Alstom in March 2011, and shortly thereafter, signed a contract to supply full-scale turbine maintenance services.

The contract represents a milestone in the company’s business strategy, says John Mitola, President of Juhl Wind. "Our contract to provide services to the Adams and Danielson wind farms is a direct example of the expansion of our service business in 2011," he adds. "We told investors in our 2011 Outlook call that we had a plan to dramatically expand our Operations and Maintenance subsidiary, Juhl Energy Services, in 2011 and beyond and this contract is an important first step.

The service business – dubbed Juhl Energy Services – is one of two areas Juhl intends to grow, alongside its core focus of community wind project development. Juhl says it expects growth in the service business to come not only from wind farms the company develops, but also from regional wind farms owned by "long-term trading partners and local owners."

The other area of strategic growth is Juhl Wind Asset Investment, Inc., which is set up to own wind farms. Last month, Juhl announced its first major growth step in wind farm ownership with the acquisition of the 10.2 MW Woodstock Hills wind farm near the company’s headquarters in Woodstock, Minnesota.

The Adams and Danielson wind farms have a combined capacity of 40 megawatts (MW) and cost about $42 million each.

Each project uses 12, Alstom Eco 86 Wind Turbine Generators. Xcel Energy (NYSE: XEL) is purchasing the electricity under a 20- year Power Purchase Agreement.

The wind farms incorporate Juhl’s innovative "Community Wind" structures in which ownership is shared with the farmers on whose land the system is located.

"For each project, we provided the full set of development services, arranged financing and then oversaw construction and system start-up," says Juhl Wind Chairman and CEO Dan Juhl. "Now, we will be providing the ongoing turbine maintenance services and we would expect that relationship to continue for many years to follow the initial term." 

With its acquisition of Next Generation Power Systems, Juhl also provides full sales and service to smaller, on-site wind and solar projects in addition larger Community Wind Farms.

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