Enel, through its United States renewable company Enel Green Power North America, has started construction of the 299-MW Aurora wind farm in North Dakota.
Expected to be fully operational by the end of 2020, the construction of the facility will involve an investment of around $450 million. Aurora is supported by a new power purchase agreement (PPA) for the sale of power generated by a portion of the plant to local utility Basin Electric Power Cooperative, which comes after the virtual PPA with Gap Inc. signed earlier this year.
“The construction of Aurora demonstrates Enel Green Power’s strength as an integrated developer-builder-operator in North America, expanding our presence in key regions and providing flexible solutions tailored to help commercial customers achieve their sustainability goals,” said Antonio Cammisecra, CEO of Enel Green Power. “Given our expertise in renewables and the favorable long-term economic outlook for the sector, this project is another example of corporate and utility partnerships leveraging renewable energy for both its sustainable features and economic profitability.”
With Aurora, Enel Green Power is currently building over 1.5 GW of wind and solar capacity. Other Enel Green Power projects are the 236.5-MW White Cloud wind project in Missouri, the 66-MW Whitney Hill wind project in Illinois and the 450-MW High Lonesome wind project and 497-MWdc Roadrunner solar project, both in Texas.
Enel Green Power North America is an owner-operator of renewable energy plants in North America with projects operating and under development in 25 US states and two Canadian provinces. The company operates around 100 plants with a managed capacity of around 5 GW powered by renewable hydropower, wind, geothermal and solar energy.
The 23-year bundled PPA with Basin Electric Power Cooperative involves the purchase of energy delivered to the grid by a 142-MW portion of the Aurora wind farm. In addition to Aurora, Basin Electric also purchases the full 150-MW electricity output of EGPNA’s Lindahl wind farm also located in North Dakota.
“We look forward to this project getting underway in the Williston Basin,” said Basin Electric’s CEO and General Manager Paul Sukut. “This additional resource will help us serve our member’s increasing load in that area.”
Aurora, under construction in Williams and Mountrail counties in North Dakota, is Enel Green Power’s second project in the state. Once fully operational, the 299 MW Aurora wind project will be able to generate approximately 1.3 TWh annually while avoiding the emission of around 850,000 tons of CO2 per year.
During construction and operation of the project, EGPNA will initiate activities aimed at further improving its environmental impact, while identifying opportunities that create long-term value for both the community and the project. These initiatives include support for emergency response equipment and coordinated drill training with local volunteer fire districts; investment in the Nesson Public School District #2’s science, technology, engineering, and math programs; and scholarships for host school district students to attend the wind technician training program at Lake Region State College.