The addition of wind and natural gas power projects are part of the company’s plan to meet customers’ future energy needs, replace expiring power purchase agreements
Otter Tail Power has started construction on two projects, the 150MW Merricourt Wind Energy Center in southeast North Dakota, and the 245MW Astoria Station simple-cycle natural gas combustion turbine in east central South Dakota.
Otter Tail said that the Merricourt Wind facility and Astoria Station are part of its commitment to low-cost, reliable, and increasingly clean generation resources.
Otter Tail Power Company president Tim Rogelstad said: “We project that by 2022 our customers will receive 30 percent of their energy from renewable resources and our carbon emissions will be at least 30 percent below 2005 levels all while keeping rates nearly 30 percent below the national average.
“The Merricourt Wind Energy Center and Astoria Station are catalysts of these 30 percent trajectories.”#
The Merricourt and Astoria projects to help in preparing for 2021 retirement of coal-fired Hoot Lake Plant
The company has started the construction of the Merricourt Wind Energy Center, which is expected to take 15 months for construction, creating more than 150 jobs and provide millions of dollars in economic benefits to the local area.
In addition, the project would cost approximately $270m (£223m), and generates adequate energy to power more than 65,000 homes.
Wanzek Construction is selected for the construction of the Merricourt facility and is planned to be equipped with 75 Vestas wind turbines and cover approximately 14,000 acres of land.
Having started construction in May 2019, with an approximate investment of $158m (£130m), Astoria Station holds flexible operating options, and provides green energy during high demand periods, and is expected to complete in 2021.
Otter Tail said that the project is expected to create an average of 50 construction jobs during the 13 month construction period, with a peak of 70 during the height of construction, investing approximately $30m (£24m) in construction labour costs.
The addition of wind and natural gas power projects are part of the company’s plan to meet customers’ future energy needs, replace expiring power purchase agreements. The two facilities will also help the company in preparing for the 2021 retirement of the 1950s-era 140MW coal-fired Hoot Lake Plant in Fergus Falls, Minnesota.