Renville County Wind Energy 02 May 13

Renville County could become host to the first large-scale commercial project to produce hydrogen from wind in the U.S.

The West Central Tribune reports Norfolk Wind Energy of Bird Island and Emerald H2 of Minneapolis entered into an agreement to develop the project. The companies made that announcement Monday.

According to Dave Scheibel of Bird Island, its founder and president, Norfolk Wind Energy is a community wind project of farmers and landowners in the area south of Bird Island. They are seeking to erect wind turbines with a capacity to produce 40 megawatts of electricity, with the opportunity to eventually expand to 100 megawatts.

According to Scheibel, Emerald H2 of Minneapolis holds rights to a technology that is believed to be more efficient at using electricity to produce hydrogen from water than systems now in use.

Norfolk Wind would use electricity generated by the wind during periods of time where there is low electrical demand to produce hydrogen. Electricity produced during other periods would be transmitted to the grid and sold to a utility customer.