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Dorgan to speak at dedication

By Staff | Oct 1, 2010

The long-awaited dedication for Rugby’s 71 turbine wind farm has arrived. The idea of putting a 100 turbine wind farm north of Rugby was first being floated in 2005 by PPM Energy. PPM was purchased by Iberdrola Renewables, Inc. and that company became the owner of the wind farm. Four years later in the spring of 2009 construction began on a scaled down version with 71 turbines. The project was completed this summer and the dedication set for fall.

Senator Byron Dorgan will speak at the state’s newest wind farm dedication event in Rugby. This special event will take place at the Pierce County Fairgrounds on Tuesday, October 12.

The speaker program and ribbon cutting ceremony with Senator Dorgan begins at 10:00 a.m. Others on the program are: Tom Heller, Chief Executive Officer, Missouri River Energy Services; Duncan Koerbel, Chief Reliability Officer and Global OMS President, Suzlon Wind Energy Corp.; Dave Cichos, mayor of Rugby; Brenda Foster, executive director, Rugby Job Development Authority; Father Tom Graner, pastor, St. Therese the Little Flower Catholic Church; and Kevin Devlin, vice president, Iberdrola Renewables. Tim Seck, director of development, Iberdrola Renewables, will emcee the event.

This will be followed at 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. with a picnic lunch, turbine tours (via bus to the project site), and a wild raptor demonstration from the Roosevelt Park Zoo.

Local teachers and students completed a mini-wind turbine building project in the classroom. Class turbine projects will be on display.

Everyone is welcome to attend this exciting project event. Residents from around the area will be interested in hearing about this long-awaited wind farm.

The Rugby Wind Power Project brings a new source of clean, renewable power to the region. The project has provided 17 full time jobs and generates approximately $2 million annually in landowner lease payments and property tax.

The 71 wind turbines at this project generate 149 megawatts (mw) of clean renewable energy and is located in Pierce County. They have the average annual capacity to provide electricity for 45,000 homes.

Up until a few years ago wind energy amounted to just a few turbines generating limited electricity. More companies began looking at North Dakota’s wind energy potential.

Wind energy projects give a significant boost to the economy of the towns and counties they are in. They generate a sizeable property tax return to the county. These projects bring jobs to a community and provide payment to land owners who enter lease agreements to put up wind turbines on their property. Many businesses benefit from the influx of workers into the community.

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