Wind energy project spending wins regulatory OK

The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (MPUC) unanimously approved Minnesota Power’s request to recover investments and expenditures related to its $157 million, 105 MW Bison 2 wind project through a renewable resources rider.

The company’s filing documented the cost advantage from adding the Bison 2 project in 2012, due in part to capital cost reductions for wind turbines, location and the federal Production Tax Credit. The project is adjacent to Minnesota Power’s Bison 1 project that is currently under construction.

The 35 Siemens wind turbines at Bison 2 are expected to reduce market electricity purchases and thermal generation production. The expansion is expected to be online in 2012.

The company filed plans for a similar sized project, Bison 3, with the MPUC in June. That project is scheduled to come online in 2012.

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