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Basin Electric Power Coop., a consumer-owned, regional cooperative headquartered in Bismarck, N.D., has formed a new subsidiary, PrairieWinds ND1 Inc., for developing wind power.

Basin Electric anticipates that PrairieWinds will begin operating a 115.5 MW wind project near Minot, N.D., by 2010. Construction is expected to start in early summer 2009.

"Basin Electric will be responsible for operations and maintenance, and we are evaluating the most efficient approach," says project manager Ron Rebenitsch. "Options include using wind contractors specializing in operations and maintenance, or hiring staff workers."

Rebenitsch says Basin Electric is also planning to build a second wind project, similar to the one in North Dakota, to be located in South Dakota.
 
The company notes that the roots of the new subsidiary began in 2002 when Basin Electric launched the operation of four wind turbines, including two units near Minot and two units near Chamberlain, S.D. To date, Basin Electric has been responsible for developing almost 95 MW of wind generating capacity in North Dakota and another 40 MW in South Dakota.

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