Project Development, Utility Scale, Wind Power

Wind Farm Kicks Off in North Dakota

At a ceremony near Kulm and Edgeley, Governor John Hoeven dedicated the state’s second largest utility-scale wind farm to the people of North Dakota. Otter Tail Power Company has purchased the 21 MW of energy produced by North Dakota Wind II Energy Center that FPL Energy has developed and owns.

Edgeley, North Dakota – October 27, 2003 [SolarAccess.com] “We began planning for this day three years ago,” Hoeven told the crowd of more than 350 residents, landowners, elected officials, and media representatives. “We put wind energy tax incentives in place to make sure that companies like Otter Tail Power Company and FPL Energy would recognize the advantages of investing here in North Dakota. Today we see the results in this outstanding project.” The wind farm site near Kulm encompasses a four-square-mile area adjacent to the state’s first utility-scale wind project, also developed by FPL Energy. MacFarlane noted that, with this wind power purchase, about 10 percent of Otter Tail Power Company’s total resources come from renewable energy sources. North Dakota Wind II Energy Center’s 21 MW, together with conservation measures and other new resources, helps Otter Tail Power Company meet its long-term requirements for energy and capacity. It also fits into the company’s renewable energy objective requirement for Minnesota. Securing a buyer for the wind energy is a crucial component to the success of a wind power project. “We would like nothing more than to build more wind farms in North Dakota,” said Michael O’Sullivan, senior vice president of development for FPL Energy. “That depends on finding an off-taker to purchase our power, on having sufficient transmission capacity, and on finding the right location,” he said. In a prerecorded message aired during the dinner that followed the ribbon- cutting ceremony, Senator Kent Conrad saluted North Dakota’s nearly limitless potential for wind power. “Anyone who has stood on the plains has felt this tremendous force of nature,” Senator Conrad said. “To be serious about nurturing a vibrant wind energy sector in this nation, we need to make it easy and cost-effective to invest in projects like the North Dakota Wind II Energy Center, which we are dedicating today.” Senator Byron Dorgan and Congressman Earl Pomeroy joined Conrad on the message from Washington. They applauded local efforts to harness the benefits of wind power. “North Dakota is what the Department of Energy calls, ‘the Saudi Arabia of wind.’ This project is a wonderful attempt to harness that wind power and make it what it ought to be: an important part of our nation’s energy future. We need new, renewable sources of energy in America.”