Community-focused Box Car Wind hits milestone

Box Car Wind, the company working to construct a wind farm consisting of more than 90 wind turbines across parts of Lyon and Murray counties, recently hit a milestone when it reached 52,000 acres signed up for the project.

“If anything, that’s ahead of schedule,” said Drew Christensen, director of public engagement for Apex Clean Energy, the parent company of Box Car Wind, which has a local headquarters in Balaton. “It takes a long time to lease this much land. Our goal is to get somewhere closer to 80,000 acres when we’re done. We’re on track for that.”

Box Car Wind has developed into a steady presence in Tracy in numerous ways, as it has built a strong connection in the community, as well as the Balaton community. The plan as of now is for the 500-plus megawatt project to be online in 2027. That timeline is contingent on Xcel Energy completing its transmission line project in the area following the closure of the Becker coal plant.

“We’ll be waiting for the Excel line to come online,” Christensen said. “This is a pretty significant-sized wind farm, and there’s not transmission capacity to support this project without the Excel line. The benefit of what Excel is doing, it should allow for there to be essentially very little curtailment with this project.”

See more in this week’s paper!