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Montana-Dakota Utilities plans wind farm near Baker, Mont.

Montana Dakota Utilities Co., says it plans a 20-megawatt wind farm near Baker, Mont., just over the North Dakota border.

The wind farm, to be called Diamond Willow Wind, will include 13 towers, each with a capacity of 1.5 megawatts, about seven miles south of Baker, the company said in a statement Friday. Each tower, if operating at its capacity, would serve the needs of about 300 homes, spokesman Dan Sharp said.

The project is to go on line late this year.

“We plan to increase the wind farm’s capacity to 30 megawatts by 2014,” MDU President and Chief Executive Officer Bruce Imsdahl said in the statement.

The plant will help the company meet “renewable” resource objectives in Montana and North Dakota, Imsdahl said. The state of Montana requires that 5 percent of the energy delivered to meters be renewable by the end of 2008, 10 percent by 2010 and 15 percent by 2015, Imsdahl’s statement said.

Imsdahl expects the business to employ two people to maintain the towers.

Montana-Dakota Utilities is a subsidiary of Bismarck-based MDU Resources Group, Inc., distributing natural gas and generating electricity.

Associated Press

bismarcktribune.com

12 May 2007