180-Megawatt Tatanka Wind Farm Launched in Dakotas

August 18, 2008

ACCIONA Energy has announced that the 180-megawatt (MW) Tatanka Wind Farm is now operating at a 14,080-acre site that straddles the North and South Dakota border, roughly 165 miles southeast of Bismarck.

The wind farm has 120 wind turbines, with 59 of those situated in South Dakota and 61 in North Dakota. The electricity generated is sold into the Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator, which delivers electric power to the upper Midwest and Canada.

Construction began on the $381 million project in April 2007; financing was procured through equity partnerships with GE Energy Financial Services and Wachovia Investment Holdings LLC. The company says the project employed more than 250 people during construction and created 21 permanent jobs. In addition, the wind farm is expected to generate revenue for nearby North and South Dakota communities via investments in local infrastructure, lease payments to local landowners, and tax revenues paid to local counties.

The land on which the wind farm operates is dominated by cattle grazing and crop cultivation. Wind conditions in the Tatanka region are optimal for wind energy generation; however, ACCIONA says the size of the wind farm is limited by regional transmission capacity, and the company hopes for improvements in transmission capabilities to allow further expansion.

ACCIONA Energy is part of the ACCIONA group, based in Spain. The Tatanka Wind Farm is the company's first installation of 1.5-MW turbines in the United States.

Source: August 15 article in Wind Energy Weekly

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