Otter Tail Power Company to build wind farm in 2009
Otter Tail Power Company, a division of Otter Tail Corporation (NASDAQ: OTTR), has announced that it will build a wind farm near Lake Ashtabula in North Dakota. Construction will commence in late May on the 49.5-megawatt wind farm and related infrastructure. The company anticipates that the project will be operational late in 2009. The wind farm will be north of the existing 200-megawatt Ashtabula Wind Energy Center, which was constructed in 2008.
Otter Tail Power Company's facility is expected to be part of a larger project--Luverne Wind Farm--comprising 169.5 megawatts built by NextEra Energy Resources LLC, an affiliate of FPL Group. NextEra Energy Resources will serve as construction manager and initial operator of the wind farm located in Steele and Griggs counties. Otter Tail Power Company will construct a 13-mile 230-kilovolt generation outlet needed to transmit the electricity to the Pillsbury Substation.
Otter Tail Power Company purchased its site from M-Power, LLC, in 2008. M-Power, based in Finley, North Dakota, is a locally owned wind resource development company that offers landowners and local investors an opportunity to participate in renewable energy projects.
Otter Tail Power Company president Chuck MacFarlane said the criteria behind the decision to develop additional wind energy in North Dakota included the wind resource itself, transmission capacity, tax incentives, and collaboration. "Our wind energy projects must be cost-effective for our customers, which means that we must be able to complete a project in a time frame that allows us to use tax incentives," said MacFarlane. "We particularly appreciate the work of willing business partners, landowners, and other community stakeholders, as well as the many local and state government offices and agencies that helped bring this project together. It's a well-suited addition to our balanced and least-cost energy resource plan."
Otter Tail Power Company expects to invest approximately $110 million in this project, which includes the cost of wind generation turbines and equipment, the site, and required transmission facilities. The company will apply for a 30 percent treasury grant available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
With this project Otter Tail Power Company will have wind energy generation resources totaling approximately 180 megawatts, enough to power more than 52,000 homes. "Relative to its size, Otter Tail Power Company has one of the highest ownership levels of wind generation among utilities nationwide," said Otter Tail Corporation executive vice president and chief operating officer Lauris Molbert.
Otter Tail Power Company, a division of Otter Tail Corporation, is headquartered in Fergus Falls, Minnesota. The company provides electricity and energy services to nearly a quarter million people in Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota. To learn more about the company, visit www.otpco.com.
Otter Tail Corporation has interests in diversified operations that include an electric utility, manufacturing, health services, food ingredient processing, and infrastructure businesses that include plastics, construction, and transportation. Otter Tail Corporation stock trades on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol OTTR. The latest investor and corporate information is available atwww.ottertail.com. Corporate offices are located in Fergus Falls, Minnesota, and Fargo, North Dakota.