A dedication ceremony for the $363 million Crow Lake wind project was held recently in White Lake, S.D. The project, which is owned by PrairieWinds SD 1 Inc., a subsidiary of Basin Electric Power Cooperative, was placed into full operation in February.
‘In the past, wind power meant downed trees, snapped power lines and the lights going out,’ said Dennis Daugaard, R-S.D., at the ceremony ‘Now, wind power means having electricity to keep our lights on. And thanks to the partnerships that helped make this project happen, South Dakota now has 162 more megawatts of wind generation power, more jobs and an infrastructure to train new wind technicians.’
The entire project consists of 108 GE 1.5 MW turbines. One hundred turbines are owned and operated by PrairieWinds SD 1 Inc., one turbine is owned by Mitchell Technical Institute (MTI) and the remaining seven are owned by a group of local community investors called the South Dakota Wind Partners. Construction on the project began Oct. 5, 2010.
PrairieWinds constructed the turbines for the Wind Partners and MTI and will operate and maintain them. PrairieWinds will also purchase the electricity generated by the eight turbines.
The turbine sold to MTI will be used as part of the school's wind turbine technology program, which launched in 2009. Through a grant, stimulus bonds, GE support and the South Dakota Governor's Office of Economic Development, MTI purchased the turbine. The revenue collected from electricity sold will help cover maintenance costs and loan payments.