North Dakota PSC considers 200-MW Courtenay Wind project

The North Dakota Public Service Commission plans a July 12 hearing to look at an April 8 application from Courtenay Wind Farm LLC (CWF), a subsidiary of Geronimo Wind Energy LLC d/b/a Geronimo Energy, on a 200.5-MW wind project.

The company is asking the commission for a Certificate of Site Compatibility for the Courtenay Wind Farm Project. The project will be located in Stutsman County, N.D.

The company plans to interconnect to the existing electrical transmission system at Otter Tail Power’s 115/345-kV Jamestown Substation seven miles north of Jamestown, N.D. A 115-kV generator lead line will be constructed to facilitate the project’s interconnection.

Under North Dakota code, the proposed generator lead line falls outside of the commission’s siting jurisdiction. Consequently, the lead line will be permitted through Stutsman County and any applicable townships, as necessary.

CWF’s majority owner, Geronimo, is a utility-scale renewable energy developer based in Edina, Minn. Geronimo has developed three operating wind projects in southern Minnesota. A local landowner investment group, Courtenay Wind Farmers LLC, is also an equity partner in this project.

The planned output for the project is up to 200.5 MW of wind energy capacity. CWF said it continues to assess its turbine options, but anticipates that it will utilize a turbine model with an output of between 1.5 MW and 3.0 MW. The project area contains approximately 24,200 acres and CWF currently leases about 19,000 privately-owned acres for the project.

The project’s projected average annual output is up to 825,546 megawatt hours (MWh). This projected average annual output assumes a net capacity factor between 43% and 47%. The net capacity delivered to the electrical transmission system on an annual basis will be approximately 809,035 MWh. A typical capacity factor for wind energy projects in the Great Plains region is 35% to 45%.

CWF in the April 8 application said it anticipates the certificate will be issued by September 2013, with construction to begin in third quarter 2013 and to be completed in fourth quarter 2014. Commercial operation for the project is scheduled to begin in the fourth quarter of 2014. Currently there are no plans for expansions or additions to the project.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.