Great River Energy announced this Thursday that it had closed deals with subsidiaries of NextEra Energy to receive more than 700 Megawatts of energy from four wind farms. Such deals represent almost $882 million of investment in energy transition.
The wind farms from which the energy will be sent to Great River are located in southern and southwestern Minnesota. This effort comes right after the company announced the closure of its massive coal plant in North Dakota by 2023.
“These projects are not only good for our cooperative member-owners, they are good for Minnesota’s economy,” said David Saggau, Great River’s CEO.
It was in May when Maple Grove-based company announced the closure of its Coal Creek plant. The plant produces nearly 1,151 megawatts of energy. It had been the primary source for power for the company, for the past 40 years.
After the plant closes, two thirds of Great River Energy would come from renewable sources.
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Farms involved in this deal are: Ruffalo Ridge Wind, that will power the company with 109 MW; Dodge County Wind, with 170MW; Three Waters Wind, with 280 MW; and Timberwolf Wind, with 150 MW. Farms will be effectively delivering the energy by 2021, 2022 and 2023, respectively.
Back in November, as reported by the StarTribune, Great River signed a long-term purchase agreement for a 200 MW wind farm in South Dakota that will be developed by Invenergy. These four projects are also long-term purchases, for at least 25 years.
“A University of Minnesota Extension economic impact study found the projects represent an $882 million investment and will contribute nearly $440 million of additional economic activity within the state, including $173.2 million in labor income. They will also support 2,590 jobs across all industries, including direct jobs at the construction sites and ripple effects,” the company explained in a statement.
Additionally, Great River will interconnect three of the four wind farms output to the electric grid, through Great River’s peaking plant facilities. This will provide more effectiveness and efficiency to the electric grid of the state.