The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has voted unanimously to issue both a certificate of need and a site permit for Geronimo Wind Energy's Prairie Rose wind farm.
The decision comes after a 15-month review of the project's cost-effectiveness, value to ratepayers, and environmental impact and benefits, according to Geronimo Wind Energy. Receiving these permits enables construction to begin on the project. The PUC also approved a certificate of need for the Prairie Rose Transmission Line, which will start at the project in Rock County, Minn., and carry the energy to the Split Rock substation in Minnehaha County, S.D.
The wind project will consist of up to 125 turbines spaced across approximately 35,000 acres in Rock County. The project is scheduled to begin construction by the end of the year and achieve commercial operation by the end of 2012.
In June, Geronimo Wind Energy and Xcel Energy signed a long-term power purchase agreement for the energy to be generated at the wind project.