North Dakota, United States [RenewableEnergyWorld.com] GE Energy Financial Services announced that it is partnering with Acciona and is investing US $141 million in the Tatanka Wind Farm on the North Dakota-South Dakota border. The transaction represents the GE unit’s first wind equity investment in the Dakotas and the first wind farm in the United States built entirely by Acciona.
GE Energy Financial Services invested with Wachovia Investment Holdings LLC to provide structured equity for the 180-megawatt (MW) wind farm, which spans 14,000 acres of farmland in Dickey, McIntosh and McPherson counties in North and South Dakota. The US $381 million project, which went into commercial operation on July 25, 2008, uses 120 Acciona 1.5-MW turbines.
“We are helping Acciona with Tatanka — whose name is inspired by the Lakota Indian tribal word for the buffalo that once roamed the Midwest — to charge into the American wind industry with a major project in the best wind farming area of the United States,” said Tim Howell, managing director and origination leader of renewable energy at GE Energy Financial Services.
The Tatanka Wind Farm is comprised of 120 wind turbines with 59 turbines located in South Dakota and 61 turbines in North Dakota. The electricity generated at the Tatanka Wind Farm is sold into the Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator (MISO), which delivers electric power to a very large region of the upper mid-western United States and Canada.
North Dakota is the state with the highest potential for wind energy, with resources sufficient to produce 1,210 billion kilowatt hours annually, equivalent to 40 percent of US electricity needs, according to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA). South Dakota, with 1,030 billion kilowatt hours, is fourth on the list for wind energy potential.