Xcel Energy (NYSE:XEL) said Nov. 30 that its 200-MW Courtenay Wind project in North Dakota is now fully operational.
The Courtenay Wind plant is located near Courtenay, north of Jamestown, North Dakota, which is a wind abundant area ideal for wind development. There are 100 wind turbines covering 25,000 acres owned by 60 landowners.
The wind farm is now delivering enough energy, on average, to power approximately 100,000 homes, Xcel Energy said in a news release.
“We’re excited to invest in this project in North Dakota and we appreciate the landowners and policymakers who helped make this project happen,” said Xcel Energy-North Dakota President Chris Clark. “We see wind energy as a low cost and clean part of our energy future, one that will benefit this state as well as the communities and customers we serve.”
In addition to producing competitively priced energy, Courtenay Wind serves as an economic driver for the regional economy, generating about $850,000 annually in local tax revenues. Over the course of 20 years, landowners involved with the project will receive a total of $26.5m. The project employed 200 people during peak construction and created 10 full-time jobs.
Xcel utility subsidiary Northern States Power has an interconnection deal with the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) for the Courtenay wind project.
Xcel Energy added the Border Winds Farm in Rolette County, North Dakota to its wind energy fleet at the end of 2015. The 150-MW wind farm is delivering enough clean, renewable energy to power more than 78,000 homes and generates about $600,000 in local tax revenue for the community.
In October, Xcel Energy proposed building four more wind projects in the Upper Midwest, including one in southeastern North Dakota. Foxtail Wind, a 150-MW project in Dickey County, will require North Dakota Public Service Commission approval.
Development of the Courtenay Wind facility began in 2008 with Geronimo Energy working with landowners, businesses, contractors, legislators and other members of Stutsman County.
Xcel Energy entered into a long‐term power purchase agreement with Geronimo Energy in 2013 and became the owner of the project in 2015. Wanzek Construction, based in Fargo, began to build the wind farm in the fall of 2015.
A celebratory ribbon cutting to thank stakeholders in the project is being planned for spring 2017.