Fergus Falls, Minn.-based Otter Tail Power Co., a division of Otter Tail Corp., has announced that it will build a wind farm near Lake Ashtabula in North Dakota. Construction will commence in late May on the 49.5 MW wind farm and related infrastructure. The company anticipates that the project will be operational in late 2009.
The wind farm will be located north of the existing 200 MW Ashtabula Wind Energy Center, which was constructed in 2008. Otter Tail Power Co.'s facility is expected to be part of a larger project – Luverne Wind Farm – comprising 169.5 MW, built by NextEra Energy Resources LLC, an affiliate of FPL Group. NextEra Energy Resources will serve as construction manager and initial operator of the wind farm located in Steele and Griggs counties. Otter Tail Power Co. will construct a 13-mile 230 kV generation outlet needed to transmit the electricity to the Pillsbury Substation.
Otter Tail Power Co. purchased its site from M-Power LLC, a locally owned wind resource development company, in 2008.
Otter Tail Power Co. President Chuck MacFarlane says the criteria behind the decision to develop additional wind energy in North Dakota included the wind resource itself, transmission capacity, tax incentives and collaboration.
‘Our wind energy projects must be cost-effective for our customers, which means that we must be able to complete a project in a time frame that allows us to use tax incentives,’ says MacFarlane. ‘We particularly appreciate the work of willing business partners, landowners and other community stakeholders, as well as the many local and state government offices and agencies that helped bring this project together. It's a well-suited addition to our balanced and least-cost energy resource plan.’
Otter Tail Power Co. expects to invest approximately $110 million in this project, which includes the cost of wind turbines and equipment, the site and required transmission facilities. The company will apply for a 30% grant available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
With this project, the company says it will have wind energy generation resources totaling approximately 180 MW – enough to power more than 52,000 homes.
SOURCE: Otter Tail Power Co.