Basin Electric is a recognized leader of wind energy development in the Upper Midwest. Through joint projects and purchase power agreements, we have added approximately 719 megawatts (MW) of wind energy to our energy portfolio in the past decade.
Crow Lake Wind, a $363-million wind project just east of Chamberlain, S.D., was commissioned Feb. 27, 2011. Built by Basin Electric's subsidiary PrairieWinds SD 1, Inc., it is the largest wind project owned solely by a cooperative. Crow Lake Wind is also a first-of-its-kind community wind investment partnership, and its turbines are used to educate future wind technicians.
Construction on the Crow Lake project began Oct. 5, 2010. The entire project consists of 108 General Electric 1.5-megawatt turbines – 100 owned and operated by PrairieWinds SD 1, Inc., one turbine sold to the Mitchell Technical Institute (MTI), Mitchell, S.D., and the remaining seven are owned by a group of local community investors called the South Dakota Wind Partners.
Basin Electric subsidiary PrairieWinds ND 1 Inc. was formed to develop the 115-megawatt PrairieWinds 1 wind project near Minot, ND, It is the largest wind project owned and operated by an electric cooperative in the United States. Construction began on the PrairieWinds project in August 2009 and was finished in late December 2009. Renewable power from the wind turbines will supply Basin Electric’s customers through an interconnection with Western Area Power Administration’s transmission system.
Incentives and regulations to encourage or require the generation of power from renewable or low environmental impact resources are actively considered and/or implemented within the Basin Electric member service areas. At the same time, a number of proposals for national Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) are pending in Congress. With members in nine states, Basin Electric recognizes the need for additional renewable energy capacity to service forecasted member load growth demands and to meet state mandated RPS.
Located south of Minot, ND, five wind turbines are owned and operated by Basin Electric. Two 1.3-MW turbines were built there in 2002; three GE 1.5-MW turbines were added in 2009. All five are now owned by PrairieWinds ND 1, Inc.
These North Dakota wind projects provide benefits to rural communities including an increase to the state’s tax base resulting from the increase in revenues from property taxes, which are based on the value of the facility. In addition, landowners will receive payments through the life of the Minot Wind Project. The project encompasses 30,000 acres (47 sections); however, each turbine requires less than one acre of land.
Located north of Chamberlain, SD, this wind energy facility is owned and operated by Basin Electric and consists of two 1.3-MW wind turbines.
Basin Electric purchases all of the energy from six wind projects owned and operated by NextEra Energy Resources (formerly FPL Energy), Juno Beach, FL. The wind projects are located near Wilton (2 projects), Edgeley, and Baldwin, ND and Highmore and Groton, SD. We also purchase energy from several other sources.