A wind farm in Barnes County has gotten authorization from state regulators to “repower” its turbines with larger blades and new gearboxes.
The Public Service Commission approved an order Tuesday that removes the cap on the amount of electricity the facility can generate. The wind farm, known as the Ashtabula I Wind Energy Center, has operated since 2008.
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The facility has a capacity of 148.5 megawatts of power, but that will increase to 160.4 megawatts once the new blades and gearboxes have been installed.
The PSC considered the order at a meeting in November but opted to delay its approval to sort out several lingering issues surrounding the repower at a work session later in the month.
The Ashtabula wind farm, which is owned by a subsidiary of NextEra Energy, is the first wind farm to undergo a repowering in North Dakota. Commissioners anticipate others will follow suit as their blades age.
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