The Border Winds Project is blowing ahead in Roulette County, North Dakota. Renewable Energy Systems Americas has received notice to proceed on construction. The company is the developer and engineering, procurement and construction contractor for the project. RES purchased the partially completed project from Sequoia Energy in August 2013. However, when completed, ownership and operation will be transferred to Xcel Energy.
Located near the U.S./Canada border, the 150 megawatt (MW) project is comprised of 75 V100-2.0 MW Vestas turbines. Construction of Border Winds is expected to begin in June 2014 with completion in October 2015. The project is expected to employ up to 300 workers during peak construction.
“Technological improvements in the wind industry continue to drive down the cost of generating clean, carbon-free electricity for consumers,” said Andrew Fowler, chief operating officer of RES Americas. “RES Americas is committed to playing a leading role in developing and constructing wind and solar projects that will further advance a sustainable energy future for North America. Border Winds puts us one step closer.”
Xcel Energy estimates that Border Winds will reduce customer costs by approximately $45 million over the project’s life and avoid approximately 320,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually. The Vestas V100-2.0 MW turbine, launched in 2013, generates approximately 13% more energy than earlier models at medium wind speeds, according to RES, who expects that the cost of energy generated by the project will be competitive with or below wholesale power prices in the region.
Dave Sparby, president and CEO of Northern States Power Co.-Minnesota, an Xcel Energy company said of the project moving forward, “We are committed to meeting our customers’ needs in clean and affordable ways. The Border Winds project is one of four new wind projects under development in our Upper Midwest region. These projects will add 750 megawatts of clean wind energy to our system and demonstrate that we can achieve both environmental and economic benefits for our customers.”