Merricourt Wind Energy Center
The Merricourt Wind Energy Center is a 150-megawatt (MW) wind generation facility. Located in southeast North Dakota, it harnesses some of our nation's best wind resources to generate clean, low-cost energy. After years of planning and 17 months of construction, the Merricourt Wind Energy Center started producing energy in late-December 2020.
We’re committed to delivering low-cost, clean energy across our 70,000-square-mile, three-state service area. We intentionally invest in the right resources at the right times. The Merricourt Wind Energy Center is part of our plan to:
- Meet customers' future energy needs.
- Replace expiring power purchase agreements.
- Prepare for the 2021 retirement of our 1950s-era 140-MW coal-fired Hoot Lake Plant in Fergus Falls, Minnesota.
Powering the future
The cost of renewable energy has decreased while efficiency has increased. This means our customers pay less to reliably power their homes because of renewable options like the Merricourt Wind Energy Center. And Astoria Station, located in Deuel County, South Dakota, complements our wind and solar resources by providing a reliable backstop when the wind isn’t blowing and the sun isn't shining. Its 245-MW simple-cycle natural gas combustion turbine is able to ramp up quickly, filling gaps when customer demand for energy is high or conditions for renewable energy generation aren’t ideal.
The Merricourt Wind Energy Center, an approximately $260 million investment, is the largest capital investment in our history.
Backing wind with natural gas captures low-cost energy and ensures sufficient reliability from resources we can ramp up quickly during peak periods of demand.
Creating a cleaner energy future
While we create a cleaner energy future, our customers will continue to pay less for the energy to power their homes than they would almost anywhere else in the nation.
Spanning 14,000 acres, the facility is the size of about 10,600 football fields! It benefits from 18 mile per hour average wind speeds thanks to natural wind power.
In the news
December 22, 2020: Otter Tail Power Company announces Merricourt Wind Energy Center completion