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MDU agrees to buy power from Thunder Spirit wind farm expansion

Published 04 January 2017

Montana-Dakota Utilities (MDU) has agreed to buy the energy generated from the 42.5MW Thunder Spirit 2 wind farm in North Dakota, US.

The 25-year power purchase agreement with Allete Clean Energy will secure the electricity generated by 13 to 16 new turbines, which will take the total capacity at the Thunder Spirit site near Hettinger to nearly 150MW.

The deal includes an option for MDU to buy the project after its completion. It is anticipated to start operating in December next year.

The first phase of the Thunder Spirit wind farm was completed in 2015. It comprises of 43 wind turbines and generates enough electricity to power about 30,000 households.

Allete commissioned the first Thunder Spirit facility in December 2015 and sold it to the MDU Resources Group unit the following month.

Allete Clean Energy president Allan Rudeck Jr. Said: “We are pleased MDU has selected us to expand the Thunder Spirit Wind project and look forward to partnering with them, area landowners and Adams County officials as well as North Dakota regulators on this exciting project that will deliver additional carbon-free energy to serve its customers.

“This transaction strengthens Allete Clean Energy's renewable energy repertoire and is consistent with ACE's multipronged growth strategy to expand its clean energy project portfolio by pursuing acquisitions and new builds with long-term power sales agreements, build-transfers and renewal investments of existing facilities.”

MDU president and CEO Nicole Kivisto said “Our relationship with Allete Clean Energy on the first phase of Thunder Spirit Wind proved to be a winning formula.

“We are in need of additional energy to meet our growing demands, and with the easements, interconnection to the grid and permits already in place from the first phase of Thunder Spirit Wind, it makes this a great project for Montana-Dakota.”

Apart from developing this expansion for MDU, Allete Clean Energy owns and operates wind generation facilities in Minnesota, Iowa, Oregon and Pennsylvania.