Mandan News

Wind farm in New Salem launches

Bison Wind Energy Center, a new wind farm which is located about 10 miles north of New Salem, celebrated its completion during a public ceremony last Thursday.

Since construction began in 2010, Minnesota Power, a division of ALLETE, has installed throughout south-central North Dakota 101 wind turbines that produce 292 megawatts of renewable, low-cost electricity.

Minnesota Power has invested about $500 million in its Bison Wind Energy Center. Since its first wind turbines were completed, the Bison Wind Energy Center has produced a total of about 750,000 megawatt-hours of electricity – enough to power 85,000 homes for one year. The power generated at Minnesota Power’s Bison Wind Energy Center is delivered to Minnesota via a dedicated transmission line.

ALLETE President, Chairman and CEO Alan Hodnik credited landowners, contractors and government officials for their assistance in project’s successful completion.

Wind and other renewable energy sources generate more than $1.2 billion in annual economic activity in North Dakota, a recent study completed by the North Dakota State University Agribusiness and Applied Economics Department shows.

To promote the development of wind energy generation, the state of North Dakota offers property tax reductions to qualified wind power companies that generate electricity for public use.

Among those in attendance for the project’s dedication were Lt. Gov. Drew Wrigley, Sen. Heidi Heitkamp and North Dakota Public Service commissioners Brian Kalk and Randy Christmann.

“With the completion of this major project, North Dakota’s wind energy farms have the capacity to generate about 1,600 megawatts of electricity,” Wrigley said. “That’s good news for North Dakota and the entire nation.”