Many LaMoure County residents gathered together today with city and county officials and representatives from Basin Electric Power Cooperative and FPL Energy to officially launch construction for the North Dakota Wind Energy Center, the state's largest wind farm on May 22, 2003. The facility will be constructed, owned and operated by FPL Energy, Juno Beach, Florida. The Wind Farm is located several miles west of Edgeley along Highway 13.
Michael O'Sullivan, FPL Energy Senior Vice President - Development, said the groundbreaking ceremony has dual significance. "This ceremony not only signifies the beginning of construction, it also exemplifies the commitment and support this project has received from the local communities here in LaMoure County, especially here in Edgeley and Kulm," he said.
The FPL Energy North Dakota Wind Energy Center will be completed by year end and will have a generating capacity of 40 megawatts. (One megawatt of generating capacity meets the energy needs of about 250 typical North Dakota residences.) Basin Electric Power Cooperative, Bismarck, N.D., will purchase the facility's entire output. Construction for another 40 megawatt wind facility near Highmore, S.D., is scheduled to get underway in late June. Basin Electric will also purchase its output.
Ron Harper, Basin Electric general manager and CEO, said that Basin Electric believes in wind power. "When these two projects are completed, we'll have just over 85 megawatts of wind capacity in our family of generating resources. Basin Electric is at the forefront of developing wind in the Dakotas, that's something we believe in very strongly. This project is another step in building a portfolio of generating resources that not only includes coal and natural gas-fueled facilities, but wind as well."
At a luncheon for the entire community following the ceremony Jay Jacobson, manager of Dakota Valley Electric, Edgeley, said this project came about because of the persistent work of individuals at Basin, FPL Energy and especially withing the local community.
Gary Williamson, manager of Central Power, Minot, N.D., told the luncheon audience that projects like this represent the true spirit of the cooperative power supply. "The cooperative transmission infrastructure makes a project like this possible. Cooperatives have invested millions of dollars in North Dakota to make sure that electricity from all of its generating resources - including the project here in Edgeley - can be delivered efficiently and reliably to electric cooperative consumers here and across the state," he said. "This is one of the best projects we have been involved with. The cooperation from the local community has been overwhelming."
On June 20, 2003, several hundred LaMoure County residents gathered together again between Edgeley and Kulm with local and county officials and representatives from Otter Tail Power Company and FPL Energy to officially launch construction for North Dakota Wind II, the state's second largest wind farm. FPL Energy, Juno Beach, Florida, will construct, own, and operate the facility. Otter Tail Power Company will purchase the farm's entire output.
The FPL Energy North Dakota Wind II project will be completed by year-end and will have 14 wind turbines, with a total generating capacity of 21 megawatts. One megawatt of generating capacity meets the energy needs of about 250-300 typical North Dakota residences.
John DiDonato, project director for FPL Energy said FPL Energy is delighted to be able to add this project to the company's portfolio of wind energy facilities across the U.S. He pointed out the important role of Otter Tail Power Company in constructing more than 12 miles of new transmission lines. "We are amazed," he said, "to see how quickly these lines already have been put into place. In rural areas, transmission capacity is the key. Otter Tail Power Company has shown the rest of the industry how quickly this can be accomplished, and we applaud this effort by all who were involved."
Otter Tail Power Company, a division of Otter Tail Corporation is headquartered in Fergus Falls, Minnesota. It provides electricity and energy services to nearly a quarter million people in Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota.
FPL Energy is the nation's leader in wind energy, with 30 wind facilities in 10 states. FPL Energy is a leading independent producer of clean energy from natural gas, wind, solar, nuclear and hydroelectric. Wind power represents approximately 24 percent of the company's portfolio, and more than 80 percent being fueled by renewable or clean-burning sources.
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