Two partnering firms announced plans Thursday for a sprawling wind farm in northwest North Dakota that would span parts of three counties and double the state’s current wind-energy capacity.
Hartland Wind Farm ultimately would have a capacity of 1,000 megawatts. By comparison, the largest wind complexes now in development would reach 200 megawatts.
The project would encompass parts of Burke, Mountrail and Ward counties along the Missouri plateau 25 miles northwest of Minot. Two companies have formed a joint venture to develop the project: Denali Energy of Baxter, Minn., and Montgomery Energy Partners of Houston.
“Denali Energy is pleased to be part of this landmark project that will more than double the wind capacity in the state of North Dakota,” said Curt Johnson, originally from Minot and a principal in Hartland Wind Farm.
The partnership has not filed a letter of intent with the North Dakota Public Service Commission, which has identified wind projects that have been built or are under development totaling 1,256.5 megawatts.
The first phase of Hartland Wind Farm would use 333 turbines to produce 500 megawatts of electricity. A second phase, also 500 megawatts, has the potential to make the project one of the largest wind farms in the United States, the partner firms said.
“This is prime country for this kind of a project,” Johnson said. “We believe two phases is very realistic,” with phase one scheduled for 2009 to 2010 and the second phase to follow, perhaps in 2011 to 2012.
Johnson said developers are working closely with landowners in the area.
“It’s going to be very attractive to the local landowner,” he said.
Shane Goettle, North Dakota commerce commissioner, said the firm hasn’t yet asked for assistance.
“They will have transmission issues and siting issues,” Goettle said. “We stand ready to help them.”
Montgomery Energy Partners has 2,795 megawatts in development or operation. Denali Energy specializes in renewable energy development.
By Patrick Springer
8 February 2008
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