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Adams County wind farm moving forward

A proposed wind farm in Adams County has cleared more regulatory hurdles.

The Public Service Commission has granted MDU an “advanced determination of prudence” and a certificate of “public convenience and necessity” for the Thunder Spirit Wind Farm, to be built near Hettinger. It’s a 107.5 megawatt farm that will use 43 turbines.

Originally, MDU was going to buy the power produced by the wind farm. But the utility decided to actually buy the wind farm itself. The utility says the cost of the power would be about three cents per kilowatt hour.

"That's a really good deal," said Commissioner Brian Kalk. "In today's world, the fact that they (MDU) could secure a resource, even though it's not base-load, coupled with its natural gas at three cents a kilowatt is a really good deal."

"This project comes at a great time, where they really need the energy," said PSC Chairman Julie Fedorchak. "It gives them an opportunity to own more generation themselves, and to lock in energy prices at a very good rate."

The wind farm should be in service in 2016.

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