Minnkota Power Cooperative and Otter Tail Power Co. will be using electricity generated by a proposed wind farm in northeastern North Dakota, which will be the state’s largest wind project when it is finished.
Public Service Commission filings say Otter Tail, which has about 57,000 North Dakota electric customers, will own 27 of 106 wind turbines that are planned for construction in a Cavalier County region about five miles south of Langdon. They are expected to produce 40.5 megawatts of power.
Langdon Wind LLC, a company formed by FPL Energy LLC, of Juno Beach, Fla., will own the remaining turbines, which will be able to produce 118.5 megawatts, a commission filing says. Langdon Wind has a 25-year contract to sell the electricity to Minnkota Power.
Minnkota supplies wholesale power to 11 electric cooperatives in eastern North Dakota and northwestern Minnesota. It already draws wind energy from two turbines, located near Valley City and Petersburg.
Mike Nisbet, a Minnkota Power spokesman, and Cris Kling, a spokeswoman for Otter Tail, declined comment on the project Monday, citing a nondisclosure agreement. Minnkota, Otter Tail and FPL Energy have scheduled a press conference in Grand Forks on Thursday to discuss a “major renewable energy announcement.”
The Public Service Commission has jurisdiction over the siting of the wind towers, and Commissioner Susan Wefald said the agency would be reviewing the project application soon. FPL Energy wants to locate its wind towers in Perry, Easby, Nekoma and Osnabrock townships in Cavalier County.
“It means we take a look at the environmental and the other requirements in state law that are there for siting a facility like this,” Wefald said.
FPL Energy, in a commission filing, said it hopes to begin construction this summer and have the project completed by year’s end.
It is the largest North Dakota wind project the PSC has reviewed to date. In October 2005, the commission approved a site plan for a Pierce County development that included 100 wind turbines, capable of generating 150 megawatts of power.
By Dale Wetzel, Associated Press
27 March 2007
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