Throwback Thursday: History-making wind


At the end of 2005, Basin Electric had just 5.2 megawatts (MW) in wind generation.

Cooperative directors gave their blessing in February 2008 to create two wind energy subsidiaries, PrairieWinds ND 1 Inc. and PrairieWinds SD 1 Inc.

After completion of an environmental assessment, construction began in August 2009 on the PrairieWinds ND 1 project, which included 77 turbines south of Minot, ND. The project would generate about 116 MW.

In the waning hours of 2009, Basin Electric made history. The PrairieWinds ND 1 project was complete and, at the time of completion, it was the nation’s largest wind project owned solely by a cooperative. Watch video of that construction and video of the dedication.

In South Dakota, the PrairieWinds SD 1 project was to be even larger, with 101 turbines and generation of nearly 152 MW. That project was completed in February 2011 and took the title as the largest wind project owned solely by a cooperative in the United States. Watch the top-out crew talk about working on turbines and video of the Crow Lake Wind dedication.

With a number of other wind project developments and purchased power agreements, Basin Electric now has wind capacity of 810 MW.

This information appeared in our July/August 2015 issue of Basin Today. Keep watching for more articles from that issue!

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