Great River Energy signs on to South Dakota wind project

Agreement will add 200 megawatts of renewable capacity to cooperative’s portfolio

Great River Energy has signed a power purchase agreement for 200 megawatts (MW) of wind energy from a project in Deuel County, South Dakota.

Through an agreement with Invenergy, a Midwest-based developer and operator of sustainable energy solutions, Great River Energy will supply its member-owner cooperatives with energy produced by 73 turbines at the Deuel Harvest Wind Farm beginning in 2023. The project is located in the wind-rich eastern part of South Dakota, one of the country’s windiest states.

“Securing beneficial wind energy is a vital component of our power supply strategy,” said Great River Energy Vice President and Chief Power Supply Officer Jon Brekke. “This project is an important step in our portfolio transition that will benefit our members for decades to come.”

The Deuel Harvest Wind Farm is currently under construction and expected to have an economic impact of $150 million through taxes and landowner payments over its lifetime. The project will create an estimated 250 construction jobs and require approximately 15 employees for operations and maintenance.

“We are pleased to be a part of Great River Energy’s power supply future,” said Invenergy Senior Vice President of Origination Ted Romaine. “In addition to providing affordable, clean energy to the communities that Great River Energy serves, the Deuel Harvest Wind Farm will generate good jobs and millions of dollars in economic activity for Deuel County and the state of South Dakota.”

Great River Energy met the requirements of Minnesota’s Renewable Energy Standard in 2017, eight years ahead of the state requirement. In May 2018, Great River Energy established a voluntary goal to provide its all-requirements member-owner cooperatives with energy that is 50% from renewable resources by 2030.

In May, Great River Energy announced plans to eliminate coal from its power supply portfolio by 2023 and purchase more than 1,100 MW from new wind energy projects. Great River Energy’s renewable capacity is projected to grow from approximately 660 MW in 2020 to more than 1,760 MW by the end of 2023.