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ACCIONA Launches 180 MW Tatanka Wind Farm

The Tatanka Wind Farm is comprised of 120 wind turbines with 59 turbines located in South Dakota and 61 turbines in North Dakota.
by Staff Writers
Forbes ND (SPX) Aug 13, 2008
ACCIONA Energy has announced the launch of its 180 MW Tatanka Wind Farm, located in Dickey County and McIntosh County, North Dakota, and McPherson County, South Dakota.

This significant renewable energy project is the largest wind farm in North and South Dakota and will generate enough clean energy to power more than 60,000 U.S. homes. The plant went online July 25, 2008.

Tatanka Wind Farm is the first installation of ACCIONA's 1.5 MW turbines in the United States. Construction of the $381 million project began in April 2007 and financing for the project was achieved through equity partnerships with GE Energy Financial Services and Wachovia Investment Holdings LLC.

"ACCIONA's Tatanka Wind Farm is representative of yet another step in harnessing the abundant wind energy reserves available in America's rural Midwest. This land and its pioneering population, long known for providing crops and livestock to feed a country, now meet an urgent and monumental American need - energy independence. We're so proud and grateful to partner with the people of North and South Dakota on this project," said Peter Duprey, CEO, ACCIONA Energy North America.

"Harnessing a plentiful domestic energy resource like wind to generate electricity provides this country with sustainable and clean energy choices beyond costly natural gas and carbon-emitting coal. The utilization of ACCIONA's proven wind turbine technology at the Tatanka Wind Farm is an important milestone in the company's commitment to reducing the world's CO2 emissions by 220 million tons in the next 23 years."

The Tatanka Wind Farm is comprised of 120 wind turbines with 59 turbines located in South Dakota and 61 turbines in North Dakota. The electricity generated at the Tatanka Wind Farm is sold into the Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator (MISO), which delivers electric power to a very large region of the upper mid-western United States and Canada.

The Tatanka Wind Farm created 21 new permanent jobs in North and South Dakota and more than 250 people were employed during construction. Additionally, the Tatanka Wind Farm will provide increased revenues for nearby North and South Dakota communities through investments in local infrastructure, lease arrangements with local landowners, and tax revenues paid to Dickey County, North Dakota and McPherson County, South Dakota.

The Tatanka facility is spread across 14,080 rural acres. With the exception of the small footprint made by the 120 turbines, at about 1 acre each, land use is dominated by cattle grazing and crop cultivation, which coexist with the wind energy production.

Wind conditions in the Tatanka region are optimal for wind energy generation, however, the size of the Tatanka Wind Farm is limited by regional transmission capacity. ACCIONA is hopeful that the current national energy policy debates will result in improved transmission capabilities across the United States, allowing Tatanka's full wind energy potential to be realized with further expansion.

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