North Dakota’s $157-Million Wind Project Gets Green Light

A $157 million wind project set to be built in central North Dakota has received a key regulatory approval, Wind Energy News reports. The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission has unanimously approved plans by utility Minnesota Power to invest in the 105-megawatt Bison 2 wind farm.

The facility is planned to be built beside the company’s Bison 1 wind farm, which is now under construction.

Construction could begin in 2012, with Minnesota Power telling the Commission that recent capital cost reductions for wind turbines and a “superior wind location”, along with federal tax credits, could help the facility meet Minnesota’s 25% by 2025 renewable energy mandate “cost-effectively”.

The Bison 2 wind farm is being designed to use 35 Siemens direct-drive wind turbines, with plans for the facility to deliver its power to Minnesota Power customers via the company’s direct current transmission line linking Center, North Dakota, with the Arrowhead Substation near Duluth, MN.

Minnesota Power serves around 144,000 customers and 16 municipalities in a 26,000 square mile area of northeastern Minnesota.