North Dakota wind farm sells electricity from first phase of turbines


Since I’ve been talking about progress of the slice-and-dice operation near Hettinger, N.D. in the southern part of the state, it’s only fair to mention they have made a big step forward. The site owner signed a contract with Montana-Dakota Utilities for the sale of all the electricity from the first phase of construction.

Best details of several articles I’ve seen this on the deal can be found at North American Wind Power:  Wind Works Signs PPA For Thunder Spirit Project in North Dakota.

The Thunder Spirit project will have 75 turbines producing about 150MW.  MDU will buy 105 MW of that capacity. That would be all the output from the first 52 turbines.  Another article says the remaining 45MW of capacity, or another 23 turbines, will be begin when a buyer is found for the electricity.

The contract runs for 25 years. None of the articles  I’ve seen disclose the rates or basis for determining the rate.

The slice-and-dice operations has previously obtained an interconnection agreement. In September, it received the required approvals from the county and state regulators, which I’ve mentioned before. With the sale contract (PPA, or power purchase agreement), the project can take the next steps in construction.

The Wind Works CEO describes the status as:

“With permitting, interconnection and power contracting activities completed, we are now able to work to secure financing, enter into turbine equipment and construction services agreements, and commence construction,”.

The article cites the company as describing the timeline as development starting by the end of 2013, construction starting in spring 2014, putting up the turbines in 2015, and start commercial production at the end of 2015.

That means huge taxpayer subsidies start in 2013. Eagle takes start in 2016.

(Photo above taken by me during October trip to North Dakota. Not a very good picture, but don’t have many good shots of wind farms yet.)

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