Minnesota's largest wind farm and the state's largest transmission line built to carry wind power into the Twin Cities were dedicated and will soon become fully operational, subject to final approvals by the regional transmission operator.
A total of 137 wind turbines, with a maximum generating capacity of 205 MW, comprise enXco's Fenton Wind Project in southwestern Minnesota.
Xcel Energy's 345 kV transmission line, along with two major 115 kV lines, will deliver the power into the Minnesota high-voltage transmission grid, allowing delivery of power from the Fenton wind farm and other wind power resources from the Buffalo Ridge region of the state into the Twin Cities area.
Under a 20-year agreement, wind farm developer enXco will own and operate the Fenton wind park and sell all the energy it produces to Xcel Energy, an electricity and natural gas company with regulated operations in eight states.
Approximately 515 MW of wind power has been installed in the Buffalo Ridge area and about 350 MW of additional wind power is planned to be online by 2008.
Existing transmission from the region was not able to carry the anticipated wind power load until the new transmission lines were completed. An additional leg of the 345 kV transmission line soon will be completed into Sioux Falls in order to support the transmission grid in that region.