The last regulatory approval pending for construction of PrairieWinds ND I has been issued, according to Basin Electric Power Cooperative, and as a result, construction on the $250 million project has begun.
‘This project is the result of the cooperative efforts of many individuals and federal agencies, including the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Rural Utilities Service and the Western Area Power Administration,’ says Ron Rebenitsch, project manager. ‘It brings positive benefits to the environment, the landowners, the community and the electrical consumer.’
Rural Utilities Service (RUS) issued the finding of no significant impact (FONSI) permit, which addressed any environmental impacts that may be caused from construction and operation of the wind farm, located south of Minot, N.D.
The FONSI states that RUS is ‘satisfied that environmental impacts of the proposed projects have been adequately addressed.’ This review is part of the National Environmental Policy Act process, which includes addressing endangered-species issues.
PrairieWinds ND 1 is scheduled to be operational in early 2010. The 77-turbine project will have a nameplate output of 115.5 MW and will encompass 30,000 acres. The project will be owned and operated by a Basin Electric subsidiary, PrairieWinds ND I Inc.
SOURCE: Basin Electric Power Cooperative