Minneapolis, Minnesota & Finley, North Dakota [RenewableEnergyAccess.com] National Wind, a developer of utility-scale wind power projects, made the news twice this week with two important announcements.
On Wednesday the company announced that it had acquired Romuld Wind Consulting LLC, an experienced wind resource assessment and energy analysis firm, headquartered in Grand Forks, North Dakota. Renamed National Wind Assessments, this new division will serve as the cornerstone of National Wind’s service offering, working with external customers and performing services for National Wind’s existing development projects.
“The addition of Romuld Wind Consulting is a great opportunity to further build our business toward a single source entity that can seamlessly provide the services needed to create utility-scale (50 megawatts plus) wind projects,” said Leon Steinberg, National Wind’s CEO.
On Thursday, M-Power, LLC announced that it had secured the rights to develop the first phase of its community-owned wind energy project in North Dakota, which is being co-developed by National Wind.
M-Power says this development will be the largest community-owned wind energy development in the state.
The first phase of the project will be located on 32 sections of agricultural land and will consist of 150 megawatts (MW). The footprint of the first wind farm would involve over 90 landowners. M-Power is the largest community-owned wind energy development in North Dakota.
Once this first phase is complete, M-Power plans to expand the development to between 380 to 500 MW. M-Power is in advanced negotiations with two major utilities to utilize the power output of the first phase of the project.
The community-based approach to wind energy projects has seen a strong growth trend over the last year, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. North Dakota is capable of supplying 1.2 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) of annual electricity, which is 14,000 times the electricity consumption in the state.
“This new project is a significant step forward in our effort to harness that power to boost North Dakota’s energy portfolio and help our nation tap into its own resources,” Senator Byron Dorgan (D-ND) said. “This is an important addition to our state’s Energy Corridor, but it is even more exciting to see a large wind development that is owned by our family farmers and other community members. That will provide an economic boost to Finley and the surrounding region.”