North Dakota Wind Power Projects Could Add 686 MW of Capacity

Five companies have filed letters of intent with North Dakota’s Public Service Commission (PSC) outlining proposals to start construction this year on wind farms that would add almost 686 MW of wind power capacity.

The Dickinson Press and Bismarck Tribune reported that if all the wind farms are built, it would be a 41% increase in the state’s wind energy capacity at a cost of around $1 billion.

The operating cost of wind-generated electricity in North Dakota is about 6 cents per kilowatt-hour, roughly twice the operating cost of coal-generated electricity, Jerry Lein, energy analyst at the PSC was quoted as saying. The federal wind production tax credit of 2.3 cents per kilowatt-hour at times brings the wholesale price of wind electricity to within a penny or less of the operating cost of coal-generated electricity, he said.

Rolette Power Development, LLC filed a letter of intent with the PSC for a 50-MW Rolette Wind Project in Rolette County. A letter of intent and application were filed for Courtenay Wind Farm, a 200.5-MW project in Stutsman County. Allete Inc. filed a letter of intent to build the 210-MW Bison 4 Wind Project in Oliver, Morton, and Mercer counties. M-Power One proposed building 75.2 MW in Steele County. And the Thunder Spirit Project in Adams County could add up to 150 MW of wind generating capacity.

Wind energy makes up an installed capacity of around 1,672 MW, or about 26% of North Dakota’s total installed capacity of 6,436 MW. The state’s coal-fired plants have about 4,200 MW of installed capacity. The state has around 10 MW of natural gas–fired generating capacity.

Sources: POWERnews, Dickson Press, Bismarck Tribune

—David Wagman, Executive Editor (@EPContentDirect)

NOTE: This story was originally published on May 6

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