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Regulators cut red tape  

North Dakota’s largest wind farm has received a shortened application period for siting 27 new wind turbines near Langdon in the northeastern section of the state.

The expansion represents a $73 million investment by FPL Energy LLC, of Juno Beach, Fla.

On March 29, Otter Tail Power Company and Minnkota Power Cooperative of Grand Forks announced a contractual agreement with FPL Energy to develop the Langdon Wind Energy Center. The wind farm is expected to be operational by late 2007 or early 2008. Otter Tail Power Company has agreed to buy 19.5 megawatts, and the Fergus Falls-based electric utility will own turbines producing another 40.5 megawatts.

Otter Tail Power Company is removing a 41,600-volt transmission line between Langdon and Hensel and is replacing it with a 115,000-volt line to accommodate the center’s wind-generated electricity.

The North Dakota Public Service Commission approved the present wind farm’s site plan. PSC President Susan Wefald said regulators’ familiarity with the area may help siting work for the expansion.

“There’s not a lot of new land that’s going to be added,” Wefald said. “A number of the turbines are going to be placed on land that’s been sited already.”

FPL is developing the Langdon Wind Center which will have 106 turbines capable of generating 159 megawatts when it is completed in the next few months. In addition to Otter Tail Power Company, FPL plans to sell its wind energy to Minnkota Power Cooperative of Grand Forks.

FPL Energy is the world’s leader in wind energy, with 49 wind facilities in operation in 15 states.

It’s a subsidiary of FPL Group, one of the nation’s largest providers of electricity-related services. FPL Group’s principal subsidiary is Florida Power & Light Company, serving 4.4 million customer accounts in Florida.

By Tom Hintgen

The Daily Journal

27 October 2007

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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