Outrun Change

We need to learn quickly to keep up with the massive change around us so we don't get run over. We need to outrun change.

Another wind farm approved in North Dakota

I’m slowing learning about wind farms. An article in The Dickinson Press provides good background:  $350M wind farm approved in Stutsman County.

Status of Courtenay

The article focuses on the Courtenay Wind Farm, which is developing 100 turbines rated with a potential capacity of 200 megawatts (2MW/turbine).  The state Public Service Commission approved the plan November 13..

The wind farm has a contract to sell the electricity to Northern States Power, according to the article.

Stutsman County has a population of about 21,000 and is on the east side of the state, about centered between Bismarck and Fargo.

Cost and subsidies:

Cost of this wind farm is reportedly $350M, or $3.5M each.

The developer hopes to have the project finished by the end of 2014 in order to get the state income tax credit and federal wind credit.

I haven’t learned from my limited reading what the federal credits are for each turbine.

The project will reportedly cover 21,000 acres. That’s a density of 1 turbine per 210 acres. At 640 acres to the square mile, that is about 3 turbines per square mile (3.05/mile).

Current wind farm operations in ND

The Commissioner of the PSC says there will be more wind farms in the next two years.

The article says there is currently 1,672MW capacity in the state with 650 MW coming on-line soon. With current capacity at 2MW per turbine, that implies there are 836 turbines in operation and 325 in development.

The article lists the current projects:

the Courtenay Wind Farm, the 205-megawatt Bison 4 Wind Project under construction in Oliver, Morton and Mercer counties, the 100-megawatt Thunder Spirit project near Hettinger and the 150-megawatt Border Winds project in Rolette and Towner counties.

Here’s a recap of current development:

  • 200 MW Courtenay (100 turbines)
  • 205 MW Bison 4 (about 102 turbines)
  • 100 MW Thunder Spirit (50 turbines) (I’ve previously discussed this project here, here, here and here)
  • 150 MW Border Winds (75 turbines)

That adds up to 655MW.

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