Minnesota Lands 32.5 MW in Wind Farm Development

Minnesota Power has agreed to the 20-year purchase of all of the energy and capacity from two Community Based Energy Development (C-BED) wind generation facilities proposed to be built in Todd and Otter Tail counties in west-central Minnesota.

The projects will use 2.5-megawatt (MW) turbines — the largest to date in Minnesota. Bear Creek Wind Partners, LLC will build, own and operate the N90 wind turbines, which are manufactured by Nordex, a German-based company with nearly 3,000 turbines in service worldwide. They will spin atop 260-foot-tall towers and feature 295-foot wingspans. Developers expect the initial Nordex wind turbine to be operational in June 2007. After implementation, 12 more turbines will be installed resulting in a total installed capacity of 32.5 MW, which is expected to operational by the end of 2008. “We are excited about finalizing our two initial C-BED projects,” said Eric Norberg, Minnesota Power senior vice president. “It’s been very satisfying to work with the developers to bring the first large wind facility to central Minnesota.” This initiative represents the first C-BED projects undertaken by Minnesota Power. Passed by the Minnesota Legislature in 2005, C-BED is a statewide directive intended to encourage investment in community wind energy projects. Since 2005 Minnesota Power has contracted to purchase all the wind energy and associated capacity from approximately 130 MW of wind projects to serve its customers. Minnesota Power issued a February 2007 Resource Request soliciting peaking and baseload proposals, as well as renewable (wind, biomass, hydro) proposals of 20 MW to 200 MW.
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