Basin Electric to explore cooperative-owned wind resources

Basin Electric to explore cooperative-owned wind resources
The wind is a frequent visitor on the Dakota prairies, and Basin Electric Power Cooperative intends to explore using that wind once again to its members' advantage.

Based on the outcome of several studies being conducted over the next two years, 200 or more megawatts (MW) of wind energy could be targeted for development.

Ron Rebenitsch, manager of member marketing, said that Basin Electric is looking at the Minot, ND, area and central South Dakota for two potential projects of roughly 100 MW each. It's intended that the new development would be owned and operated by Basin Electric.

These projects would be in addition to Basin Electric's existing green and renewable resources.

To determine the areas with the most wind potential, available wind data and computer modeling information is being used to determine likely areas for initial siting. Local landowners are being contacted, and environmental studies are expected to begin in the next few months.

In addition to the potential for wind, another key factor in deciding to proceed with a wind project is transmission availability and capacity. "Our region has some of the best wind resources in the world," Rebenitsch said, "and we are working to develop that resource for the benefit of our members."

Basin Electric is a consumer-owned, regional cooperative headquartered in Bismarck, ND. It generates and transmits electricity to 121 member rural electric systems in nine states. These member systems distribute electricity to about 2.5 million consumers.

Basin Electric's generating resources include an oil-based peaking station – the Spirit Mound Station, Vermillion.

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