Basin Electric's first South Dakota wind turbines dropped

Two of South Dakota’s first commercial wind turbines were dropped to the ground Oct. 31. The turbines, each 300-feet-tall and providing 2.6-megawatts (MW) generating capacity combined, were owned and operated by Basin Electric. Basin Electric and its Class A member East River Electric Power Cooperative jointly worked to bring the turbines to the area when they were constructed in 2001. The turbines were located next to Highway 50 north of Chamberlain, South Dakota.

One of the two original wind turbines north of Chamberlain, South Dakota.

“The turbines were taken down because they were at the end of their useful life, and replacement parts and service were no longer available,” said Joe Fiedler, Basin Electric manager of Distributed Generation. “While it is possible to repower wind turbines in many instances, these two could not be repowered because their foundations were not large enough to support the larger equipment that would be necessary. Because it wasn’t possible to repower the turbines, we are committed to reclaiming the site.”

Wind is part of the cooperative’s all-of-the-above energy strategy, which is based on a diverse mixture of resources that provide reliable, affordable, and environmentally responsible energy to its members. Basin Electric started adding renewables to its portfolio in 2000 and has since added nearly 1,800 MW of wind energy. Today, Basin Electric owns and operates two of the largest wind projects owned solely by a cooperative in the United States: the 172-MW Crow Lake Wind Project in South Dakota and the 115.5-MW PrairieWinds 1 in North Dakota.


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