Dodge County Wind files amendment to application for proposed wind project in Minnesota

Dodge County Wind LLC (DCW) on Jan. 9 filed with the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission an amendment to its application for a site permit for the Dodge County Wind Project.

DCW said that since submittal of the application, it has designed a revised wind turbine layout within the original 52,085-acre project area. The revised layout incorporates changes in turbine technology resulting from a shift in the project schedule, addresses changes in wind rights and associated setbacks, and implements feedback from landowners, DCW said.

While the initial application proposed using 62 General Electric (GE) 2.5-MW wind turbines and eight GE 1.715-MW turbines, the revised application proposes to utilize 60 GE 2.5-MW wind turbines and eight GE 2.3-MW wind turbines. DCW added that the revised layout also includes four alternative turbine locations for a total of 72 turbine locations.

The total height of the GE 1.715-MW turbine was 431.3 feet and the total height of the proposed GE 2.3-MW turbine is 453.7 feet, DCW said.

The project’s total capacity would remain about 170 MW, DCW said, adding that access roads, collection routes, and crane walks were redesigned to accommodate the revised turbine array.

Based on the revised project layout and changes in turbine technology, a net capacity factor of about 38.7% to 47.5% is expected annually, an increase from 38.1% to 46.5% provided in the application, DCW said, noting that the projected average annual output of about 636,605 MWh is anticipated for the project, an increase from 621,233 MWh for the project.

Project construction was intended to begin in 2Q19, with commercial operations to begin by Dec. 31. However, DCW added, in consideration of the procedural schedule issued by the commission, DCW anticipates starting construction in 1Q20, with commercial operations expected to begin by July 30, 2020.

At the time of the initial application, DCW had site control agreements with landowners for about 15,500 acres, or 78% of the land required for successful construction and operation of the project. DCW added that as of Jan. 9, site control agreements are in place with landowners for about 16,121 acres, or 89% of the land required for successful construction and operation of the project. DCW said that it is continuing to negotiate easements with landowners for the development of the project.

In the application, properties not participating in the project were to have turbines set back at least 1,014 feet from the property in non-prevailing wind directions, and at least 1,690 feet from their property in prevailing wind directions for the GE 1.715-MW turbine model.

DCW added that due to the change from the 1.715-MW turbine model to the 2.3-MW turbine model, properties not participating in the project would have turbines set back at least 1,147 feet in non-prevailing wind directions and at least 1,911 feet in prevailing wind directions for both turbine models in Dodge County. In Steele County, properties not participating in the project would have turbines set back at least 1,911 feet in all directions for both turbine models, DCW said.

In the initial application, 52 miles of underground 34.5-kV collector lines were required to electrically connect each turbine step-up transformer to the project’s collector substation, DCW said. Due to changes in the revised layout, the total distance of underground 34.5-kV collector lines has decreased from 52 miles to 40.7 miles, DCW said.

Among other things, DCW said that due to the revised project layout, the total acreage of permanent impacts to farmland is expected to decrease from 52 acres to 51.21 acres.

About Corina Rivera-Linares 3061 Articles
Corina Rivera-Linares, chief editor for TransmissionHub, has covered the U.S. power industry for the past 15 years. Before joining TransmissionHub, Corina covered renewable energy and environmental issues, as well as transmission, generation, regulation, legislation and ISO/RTO matters at SNL Financial. She has also covered such topics as health, politics, and education for weekly newspapers and national magazines. She can be reached at clinares@endeavorb2b.com.