State's Largest Wind Farm, Transmission Line Dedicated
Nov 13, 2007 - Business Wire
Minnesota's largest wind farm and the state's largest
transmission line built to carry wind power into
the Twin Cities were dedicated today and will soon
become fully operational, subject to final approvals
by the regional transmission operator.
A total of 137 wind turbines, with a maximum generating capacity of 205 megawatts
of electricity, comprise enXco's Fenton Wind Project in southwestern Minnesota,
making it the largest single wind farm in the state.
"Today's event marks the 20th year in wind
energy development for our company," said James
Walker, vice president of asset management for enXco, "and
to dedicate the state's largest wind park makes this
milestone even more special."
Xcel Energy's 345-kilovolt transmission line along
with two major 115 kV lines will deliver the power
into the Minnesota High voltage transmission grid
allowing delivery of the power from the Fenton Wind
farm and other wind power resources from the Buffalo
Ridge region of the state into the twin Cities area.
"This region of Minnesota is very rich in wind
power resources and we've been working hard to tap
into it with this transmission line," said Doug
Jaeger, vice president of transmission for Xcel Energy. "Once
the wind farms are fully developed in this region,
we will be able to deliver up to an 825 megawatt
crop of wind power from the fields of southwestern
Minnesota to the Twin Cities market."
Under a 20-year agreement, enXco will own and operate
the Fenton Wind Park and sell all the energy it produces
to Xcel Energy. The agreement is similar to arrangements
the independent power provider has with the utility
in its other service territories.
"We're proud to have built this magnificent
wind farm not only because it will provide alternative
energy to the citizens of Minnesota for years to
come but also because it stands as a symbol of this
country's efforts to chart a new energy course," noted
Tom Wacker, senior vice president of Mortenson Construction,
which built the project for enXco. Wacker announced
that Mortenson's Energy Group celebrates its 50th
completed wind farm project with Fenton.
Approximately 515 megawatts of wind power capacity
has been installed in the Buffalo Ridge area of southwestern
Minnesota. About 350 megawatts of additional wind
power capacity is planned to be on-line by 2008.
Existing transmission from the region was not able
to carry the anticipated wind power load until the
new transmission lines were completed. An additional
leg of the 345-kilovolt transmission line soon will
be completed into Sioux Falls in order to support
the transmission grid in that region.
The transmission grid, in which the Fenton wind
farm and southwestern line will operate, is managed
by the Midwest Independent System Operator (MISO),
one of the nation's regional transmission management
organizations. MISO is responsible for dispatching
and balancing generating and transmission resources
to serve customer demand throughout the Midwest and
Upper Midwest region of the nation. MISO is expected
to commission the Fenton wind farm and transmission
lines into operation in the next few weeks.
During the 2007 legislative session, Minnesota lawmakers
passed and Gov. Tim Pawlenty signed into law legislation
that requires the state's utilities to obtain 25
percent of their electrical energy from renewable
resources. Xcel Energy, which supported the new law,
must obtain 30 percent of its electricity from renewables
"That means we will have to build more wind
farms and more transmission in order to meet this
ambitious goal," Jaeger said. "As the nation's
No. 1 wind power provider, and by working with companies
like enXco, as well as Burns & McDonnell and
MYR Group, our two largest contractors on our transmission
upgrade project, we believe we can do it."
Xcel Energy (NYSE:XEL) is a major U.S. electricity
and natural gas company with regulated operations
in eight Western and Midwestern states. Xcel Energy
provides a comprehensive portfolio of energy-related
products and services to 3.3 million electricity
customers and 1.8 million natural gas customers through
its regulated operating companies. Company headquarters
are located in Minneapolis. More information is available
enXco, inc. (www.enxco.com) an EDF-EN Company (www.edf-en.com)
develops, constructs, operates and manages wind energy
projects throughout the United States. Since 1987
enXco has grown to be a significant owner and developer
of wind-energy projects. enXco is the largest 3rd
party provider for wind farms, with more than 3,600
turbines and more than 1,500 MW under contract.
Founded in 1954, Mortenson Construction is a U.S.-based,
family-owned construction company. As one of the
nation's top builders, Mortenson provides a complete
range of services, including planning, program management,
preconstruction, general contracting, construction
management, design-build, and turn-key development.
Mortenson is the leading wind energy provider in
North America. Engineering News-Record ranked Mortenson
38 in the 2007 Top 400 Contractors listing and 17th
Top Green Contractor. Mortenson recently announced
its purchase of renewable energy credits (RECs) from
clean, emission-free wind farms to power its U.S.
offices which corresponds to 100 percent of its electricity
usage for its national headquarters in Minneapolis
and all six of its regional offices. Its innovative
approach to building structures and facilities for
the advancement of modern society is eloquently delivered
through its commitment to environmental and social
stewardship. For more information, please visit mortenson.com.
SOURCE: Xcel Energy