A new 100- to 200-megawatt wind farm is in the works in Rolette and Towner counties.
The Border Wind Energy Project is being developed by Sequoia Energy, based in Winnipeg. Construction could begin as early as 2009.
If built, the facility located east of Rolla, N.D., in eastern Rolette and northwestern Towner counties could include as many as 90 wind turbines, according to George Youngerman, director of the Rolla Job Development Authority.
“It won’t be the biggest in the state, but if we get it all developed, it could come out to 60 to 90 turbines,” Youngerman said. “We are doing the environmental studies now.”
The project is expected to be spread over about 32,000 acres. Youngerman said Sequoia has about 200 quarter-sections of land under option after negotiating short-term agreements with landowners for wind tower placement.
The project started in 2003 when the Rolla JDA decided to invest in a project to test wind velocity and capacity for a wind farm. A wind monitoring tower recently was moved from Rolette to Towner County to assess wind energy potential there.
“We learned there was pretty good potential to proceed with a wind farm,” Youngerman said.
The process is similar to the one taken in Cavalier County, where the Langdon Wind Energy Center opened late last year and was dedicated Wednesday.
One of the unknowns at this point is where the power will be distributed and sold.
Sequoia is working with two electrical transmission providers, Western Area Power Association and Midwest Independent System Operator.
If the project is approved by the North Dakota Public Service Commission, it could create 60 to 75 construction jobs. Once the wind farm is operating, it would provide six to 10 permanent, full-time jobs, according to Youngerman.
15 May 2008
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