Largest Wind Farm in Minnesota, Associated Transmission Line Completed

December 03, 2007

The biggest wind farm in Minnesota to date, the 205.5-megawatt (MW) Fenton Wind Project, has been constructed in the southwest corner of the state. In addition, a new transmission line has also been completed nearby that is expected to transmit wind energy into the Twin Cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis, near the state's eastern border.

The Fenton Wind Project is composed of 137 General Electric 1.5-MW wind turbines and spans a stretch of farm fields seven miles long and seven miles wide through Murray and Nobles Counties. The wind farm is expected to produce enough energy for more than 66,600 homes. Xcel Energy has signed a 20-year agreement to purchase all energy produced by the Fenton facility.

The project was developed by enXco, the Escondido, California-based subsidiary of the French firm, EDF Energies Nouveilles. The subsidiary will own and operate the project. Mortenson Construction of Minneapolis built the wind farm structures. Financing partners include Union Bank of California, Wells Fargo, GE Energy Financial Services, and New York Life, and Dexia, representing a syndicate of more than 10 banks.

The new transmission line has been dedicated but is subject to final approvals by the Minnesota Independent Transmission System Operator. The Xcel Energy line has a 345-kilovolt (kV) capacity and will transmit power, along with two other 115-kV lines, into the Minnesota high-voltage transmission grid. This configuration will allow delivery of power from the Fenton Wind Farm and other regional wind projects to the Twin Cities.

The new wind farm and transmission line will help Xcel Energy meet a state requirement to obtain 30 percent of its electricity from renewables by 2020.

For more information, see the enXco November 14 news release and the November 16 article in Wind Energy Weekly, published by the American Wind Energy Association.

To read more about renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in Minnesota, see: