Allete Clean Energy will invest USD 80 million (EUR 37.3m) to refurbish 385 turbines at three wind farms in Minnesota and Iowa with a combined capacity of nearly 290 MW.
The company, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Minnesota-headquartered energy company Allete Inc (NYSE:ALE), said on Wednesday that the project is for the 103.5-MW Lake Benton wind farm in Minnesota’s Lincoln County, the 78-MW Storm Lake 1 and the 108-MW Storm Lake 2 parks in Buena Vista and Cherokee counties, Iowa.
As part of the refurbishment plan, Allete will replace some of the wind turbine blades, gearboxes and generators at the three sites and install new communications infrastructure. The overall performance of the machines will be further improved through the addition of new fibre optic connections, servers, and data acquisition and management systems. Work on the project will be implemented in phases between 2017 and 2020 with the aim to minimise turbine downtime at each site.
The three wind farms currently generate about 700,000 MWh of electricity per year and are responsible for 50% of Allete’s power sales. The Lake Benton park has a power purchase agreement (PPA) through 2028, while only 8 MW of the Storm Lake 1 plant are contracted through 2032. The rest of the capacity has PPAs until 2019 and Allete is working to secure new contracts, it said.
(USD 1.0 = EUR 0.842)
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