MINOT, N.D. – Basin Electric decommissioned two of their oldest wind turbines from the Minot Wind Project south of the city Monday morning.
The two wind turbines, known affectionately as Willy and Wally, were among the first built in one of the largest wind projects owned by a co-op in the U.S., the Minot Wind Project.
“We were pioneers in wind energy, in bringing wind energy to North Dakota and these two were built in 2002 and they’re right near the end of their useful lives right now,” said Tracie Bettenhausen, a spokesperson with Basin Electric.
The towers have helped power more than 1,600 homes in the Minot area and across the state, but their service has come to an end.
“With the age of the machinery, getting the parts and service for them has become a challenge over the last couple of years. Last summer, one of the machines experienced some damage in a storm so the decision was made to decommission them, take them offline,” said Patrick Hurt, an operations supervisor with Basin Electric.
One of the towers was tied off with cables and cut at the base, giving way to the more than 154 ton structure.
The turbine will later be cut into smaller pieces.
“The contractor that we have in that took the tower down will then cut the materials up and haul most of it in for scrap and some of the fiberglass and stuff will go to the landfill,” said Hurt.
The clean up process will take about three weeks for both towers.
Basin Electric will not be installing new turbines in their place.
The Minot Wind project is a piece of the larger Prairie Winds project, which is made up of 77 1.5 megawatt towers located south of Minot.
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