On December 15, the 13 Megawatt (MW) South Fork Wind Farm began commercial operation producing renewable energy for Muscatine Power and Water (MP&W). In all, six new wind turbine-generators have been constructed, tested, and released for full operation, and the energy produced is being placed on the electrical grid for consumption by homes and businesses.
“The utility has been working toward this moment since 2012,” said General Manager Sal LoBianco. “It has long been one of our goals to diversify our generation portfolio with renewables, and we are pleased and proud to bring this alternative resource to our community.”
Although the South Fork Wind Farm is located just north of the border in Minnesota, the output of the six state-of-the-art General Electric wind turbines are dedicated to MP&W and capable of producing up to 13 MW of power depending on wind conditions. The projected annual output from the site – nearly 50,000,000 kWh – represents about 5.6% of MP&W’s native system usage.
“We successfully partnered with Aspenall Energies and Juhl Energy in 2015, and the project really was completed fairly quickly,” said Power Production and Supply Director Gage Huston. “It was amazing to watch the crews at the site, as well as our internal resources, working so diligently to meet the December deadline for commercial operation.”
A live “Construction Cam” was put in place to chronicle the construction and a viewer with complete time-lapse video of the construction is available at mpw.org//windcamera. Utility staff are also developing a dashboard for the website that will track the wind farm’s current and historical electric output.
South Fork Wind Farm is just one part of MP&W’s renewable vision. The Utility is currently gauging local interest in the development of a community solar garden which would further diversify energy production for Muscatine.
Find additional information on MP&W’s Renewable Vision and express your interest in making it a reality by visiting mpw.org/solar.