Construction will begin in May on 100 megawatts of wind energy facilities at five sites in Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin.
MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota – Navitas Energy and Xcel Energy (formerly Northern States Power) recently executed power purchase agreements which will result in the installation of 650 megawatts of wind and combustion turbine energy. The majority of the $400 million project involves 550 MW of dispersed generation using combustion turbines in a unique hybrid application. Navitas Energy is an affiliate of Northern Alternative Energy Inc (NAE). The generating capacity is designed to alleviate the growing power shortfall in the region. The Minnesota Department of Commerce and energy forecasters estimate that the upper Midwest will need more than 5,000 MW of additional electricity by 2006. “Navitas Energy is pleased to be a part of the solution by supplying much needed electricity to the region using environmentally friendly wind in combination with clean burning natural gas combustion turbines,” says president Greg Jaunich. “The gas turbines are completely dispatchable and will provide power during peak demand periods and when the wind is not available.” Minnesota will be the greatest beneficiary of this project, with all the wind energy and almost half of the combustion turbines located within the state. Minnesota consumers will receive the benefits in terms of additional energy and a cleaner environment, he explains. Construction will begin this May, and the wind turbines will be completed in phases by December and by June 2002 for the combustion turbines. M.A. Mortenson Company will serve as the project’s engineering, procurement and construction contractor. “We are very excited to be a partner with Navitas Energy in the opportunity to meet the Midwest’s growing demand for clean power,” says Jerry Grundtner, general manager with Mortenson. That company is based in Minneapolis, and is ranked as the 39th largest contractor in the U.S. It currently is involved in five power generation projects totaling 895 MW. Navitas owns and operates generating facilities in the U.S. while NAE focuses exclusively on wind energy facilities. With 650 MW of clean energy under development and 100 MW of wind power operating, Navitas and NAE claim to be one of the larger renewable energy plant development companies. NAE wind farms have generated 100,000,000 kilowatt-hours of renewable electricity from the Allendorf Wind Farm in Buena Vista County, Iowa; the Lakota Ridge Wind Farm and Shaokatan Hills Wind Farm in Lincoln County, Minnesota; the Marshall Wind Farm in Marshall, Minnesota; the Medicine Bow Wind Farm in Medicine Bow, Wyoming and the Sibley Wind Farm in Sibley, Iowa.