Under the deal, ACE will develop and construct the project before selling it to Montana-Dakota for approximately $200 million. The purchase is subject to regulatory approvals.
The wind project is located near Hettinger, N.D., and will feature 43 turbines. Montana-Dakota originally signed a power purchase agreement with Thunder Spirit Wind in October 2013 to purchase the output of the wind farm.
Montana-Dakota says it later determined that owning and operating the project is the best long-term solution to meet customer need for energy, so the utility company then partnered with ACE on an agreement for the developer to acquire the Thunder Spirit project.
"Our electric demand continues to increase, and this project is a great opportunity to increase our electric generation to meet that customer demand. Our customer energy requirements are expected to grow at five percent per year for the next five years," explains Frank Morehouse, president and CEO of Montana-Dakota. "Not only does this project provide needed generation, but it also further diversifies our generation portfolio, boosting our renewable segment to 20 percent."
"We are pleased to have been selected to partner with MDU to develop this carbon-free resource to serve its customers," addsc Norberg, president of ACE. "At the same time, we look forward to extending and refining our own competencies in the expanding renewable energy marketplace."
Construction of the project is expected to be completed in December 2015.