Landowner builds nearly 20 MW wind farm

A parcel of land in Clark County, South Dakota will soon serve as a wind farm providing enough electricity to power about 5,000 homes in the region for a year.

Fulfilling the vision and through the effort and personal commitment of owner Leonard Makens, a portion of the more than 7,000-acre Oak Tree Lodge family farm and hunting lodge is now home to a soon-to-open wind power installation comprised of eleven General Electric 1.85-87 wind turbines with a combined capacity of 19.5 MW.

Underscoring his commitment to sustainability and regional development, Mr. Makens partnered with regional contractors Diversified Energy Solutions of Gary, SD and with Consulting Engineers Group of Farmington, MN to design and build the project. Juhl Energy of Pipestone, MN provided development support services.

Consolidated Edison Development, a New York State-based developer and operator of large-scale renewable energy projects, recently closed an agreement with Mr. Makens to acquire and operate the project. The wind farm also encompasses a portion of the land owned by one of Mr. Makens’ neighbors.

“To ensure this exciting initiative fulfills its maximum potential, we are delighted to have forged a partnership with ConEdison Development, one of America’s most successful and highly regarded developers of renewable energy.”

The project, which will generate about 71,000 MWh of power annually, is scheduled to be operational by the end of this month.

Electricity generated from the facility is contracted to NorthWestern Energy under a 20-year power purchase agreement.  The wind farm is interconnected with NorthWestern Energy and the Western Area Power Administration (WAPA) transmission systems.

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