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Dozens of investors, landowners and community members gathered Wednesday in Atwater for Lake Country Wind Energy, LLC's first annual appreciation dinner. The community-based project aims to have its first windmills erected and spinning by 2012. Tribune photo by Eric Ludy

Optimism for wind energy plan

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ATWATER -- A year ago, Steve Bergo and a group of 7 area farmers were talking about wind.

They all agreed that they had a lot of it, and with all the buzz surrounding renewables, they knew that there must be a way to harness it. So, like the pioneers of industry before them, they forged into the unknown on a large scale wind farm project.

"At the start of this thing, we didn't know if anybody was going to follow us into this," he said.

But follow them they did.

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