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Rural Electric Cooperative Completes $240 Million Wind Farm in 4 Months

A North Dakota rural electric cooperative made history on New Year’s Eve, in completing the nation’s largest wind project to be entirely owned by a consumer cooperative.

The $240 million, 115.5 MW wind farm was begun in August and completed a mere four months later; three and a half hours before midnight on the last night of 2009. GE supplied the 77 1.5 MW turbines.

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By the end of 2010 the cooperative hopes that it will produce 20% of its electricity from wind power for its 2.8 million rural consumers in parts of rural Colorado, Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming.

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1. Rural empty states are where the wind is.
2. Rural empty states are where electricity cooperatives are.
3. Rural empty state’s cooperatives are beating national averages in bringing the most renewable energy online the fastest.

Renewable capacity among rural electricity cooperatives grew 65% in 2008. The rest of us: 25%