Wind turbine

Minnesota Power, a division of Allete, has commissioned phase four of the Bison wind complex in North Dakota, US, with a power generation capacity of 205MW.

The completion raises the entire capacity of the wind power complex to 500MW, making it the largest wind farm in the US state.

Bison is equipped with 165 wind turbines, 64 of which are Siemens models. Each has a generation capacity of 3.4MW.

Power generated at the site is transmitted to the retail customer base of the utility in north-eastern parts of Minnesota. This is done through a 465-mile (748km) line running between Center, North Dakota, and Duluth, Minnesota.

Construction for phase four was initiated at the end of 2013 and involved an investment of $345m. Approximately 14 miles of new roads were built and 11 miles of existing roads were upgraded.

“The completion raises the entire capacity of the wind power complex to 500MW.”

A new electric substation and nearly 55 miles of collector cable have been installed for the western side of Bison 4.

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An existing substation has also been expanded, with a new meteorological tower and 11 miles of new 230kV transmission line.

Allete chairman, president and CEO Al Hodnik said: “[The] development of renewable energy from wind and water is rapidly transforming our nation’s energy landscape and with the addition of nearly 500MW of wind from the Bison development on our system, we are providing cleaner energy while maintaining the affordability and reliability of electric power our customers in north-eastern Minnesota expect.”

Minnesota Power chief operating officer Brad Oachs said: “With this substantial addition of wind to our portfolio, we are meeting Minnesota’s renewable standard of 25% renewable energy by 2025, a decade early.”

Image: The 205MW Bison 4 wind facility in North Dakota, US, uses Siemens’ 3MW D3 platform wind turbines. Photo: courtesy of Siemens AG.