Great River Energy to receive energy from Buffalo Ridge wind project

Agreement with subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources will add 109 megawatts of renewable capacity to the cooperative’s portfolio

 Great River Energy recently signed a power purchase agreement with a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources, LLC for a new 109-megawatt (MW) wind project to be built in Lincoln County, Minn.

Great River Energy will supply 22 of its member-owner cooperatives with Minnesota wind power under this new agreement beginning in 2021. 100 MW of the project will be shared by Great River Energy’s 20 all-requirements member-owner cooperatives and 9 MW will be dedicated to two Great River Energy member cooperatives: Minnesota Valley Electric Cooperative, based in Jordan, Minn.; and Wright-Hennepin Cooperative Electric Association, based in Rockford, Minn.

“Securing cost-effective renewable energy resources is important to helping our member-owner cooperatives stay competitive today and in the future,” said Great River Energy Vice President and Chief Power Supply Officer Jon Brekke. “The Buffalo Ridge project will help with diversification of our generation portfolio and is a big step toward meeting the renewable energy goals set by our member-owner cooperatives.”

The Buffalo Ridge Wind Energy Center is also expected to provide significant economic benefits to Minnesota. It will create an estimated 300 construction jobs to build the project, and approximately six to 10 full-time jobs to operate it once it’s complete. The project will also generate payments to landowners and nearly $20 million in additional tax revenue to the local communities that host it over its first 30 years in operation.

“We are pleased to once again work with Great River Energy to build a project both its members and the region can be proud of,” said John Di Donato, vice president of development for NextEra Energy Resources, LLC, the world’s largest generator of renewable energy from the wind and the sun. “In addition to affordable, clean energy, this project will generate good jobs and millions in tax revenue for Minnesota.”

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 percent from renewable resources by 2030. The cooperative also set interim renewable energy goals of 30 percent by 2020 and 40 percent by 2025. When the Buffalo Ridge wind project comes online in 2020, Great River Energy’s wind capacity will exceed 800 MW, fulfilling the 2020 interim goal.