Bent Tree Wind Farm up and running

The 122 turbine facility, located near Albert Lea, MN will produce enough electricity to power about 50,000 homes.


Alliant Energy Corp. Bent Tree Wind FarmWisconsin Power and Light Co. said it has finished construction of its Minnesota wind farm and that it is generating power. The $460 million project began delivering power to the Midwest electricity grid Monday morning, about a week ahead of the company's most recent projection, utility spokesman Steve Schultz said.

The Bent Tree Wind Farm near Albert Lea, Minn., consists of 122 turbines capable producing up to 201 megawatts of electricity. Over a year's time, that's enough to power about 50,000 homes, according to the utility.

Wisconsin's renewable electricity mandate requires that 10 percent of the state's electricity come from renewable sources by 2015. The Legislature last year opted not to up the ante on the state's renewable mandate when it didn't vote on a bill that would have required 25 percent of the state's power to come from renewable sources by 2025, similar to Minnesota's standard.

The state Public Service Commission said the Madison utility has generated more than 5 percent of its power from renewable sources in 2009 and that the Bent Tree project would enable it to comply with the 2015 mandate.

The utility began generating power from its first wind farm, Cedar Ridge in Fond du Lac County, in late 2008. WP and L is a subsidiary of Alliant Energy Corp., Madison.

Customer groups and state regulators had criticized Alliant for not disclosing details about transmission line constraints that prevent some of the power generated from the project from getting onto the power grid.

In a recent report, Alliant said it saw far fewer such grid bottlenecks in recent months as the project started generating test power. It's still forecasting that it won't be able to achieve full output from the wind project onto the grid until a power line upgrade is completed early next year.

- Edited by Gust Gianos, CFE Media, Consulting-Specifying Engineer,

No comments
The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by...
The System Integrator Giants program lists the top 100 system integrators among companies listed in CFE Media's Global System Integrator Database.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
This eGuide illustrates solutions, applications and benefits of machine vision systems.
Learn how to increase device reliability in harsh environments and decrease unplanned system downtime.
This eGuide contains a series of articles and videos that considers theoretical and practical; immediate needs and a look into the future.
Choosing controllers: PLCs, PACs, IPCs, DCS? What's best for your application?; Wireless trends; Design, integration; Manufacturing Day; Product Exclusive
Variable speed drives: Smooth, efficient, electrically quite motion control; Process control upgrades; Mobile intelligence; Product finalists: Vote now; Product Exclusives
Machine design tips: Pneumatic or electric; Software upgrades; Ethernet advantages; Additive manufacturing; Engineering Leaders; Product exclusives: PLC, HMI, IO
This article collection contains the 5 most referenced articles on improving the use of PID.
Learn how Industry 4.0 adds supply chain efficiency, optimizes pricing, improves quality, and more.

Find and connect with the most suitable service provider for your unique application. Start searching the Global System Integrator Database Now!

Cyber security cost-efficient for industrial control systems; Extracting full value from operational data; Managing cyber security risks
Drilling for Big Data: Managing the flow of information; Big data drilldown series: Challenge and opportunity; OT to IT: Creating a circle of improvement; Industry loses best workers, again
Pipeline vulnerabilities? Securing hydrocarbon transit; Predictive analytics hit the mainstream; Dirty pipelines decrease flow, production—pig your line; Ensuring pipeline physical and cyber security