Sen. Dorgan, Energy Leaders and Pierce County Families Celebrate North Dakota”s Newest Wind Farm at Dedication Event in Rugby

“The new wind farm in Rugby is important to our local economy and our nation’s energy independence,” Sen. Dorgan said. “I’ve been pushing for policies that encourage wind energy development, and the Rugby Wind Power farm is an example of the progress our country is making. North Dakota truly is the Saudi Arabia of wind energy potential, and the growth we’re seeing in wind energy in North Dakota means more jobs creation, economic development and a cleaner environment.”

Rugby provides a continuing source of jobs and income for the Pierce County community. Seventeen full-time jobs are based at the site, and the project contributes approximately $2 million annually in the form of landowner lease payments and property taxes.

“The development and construction phase of the wind power project has had a very positive economic impact to Pierce County and the City of Rugby,” said Brenda Foster, executive director for the Rugby Job Development Authority, whose motto is “centered for growth.” “Our city and county community leaders are always looking for additional ways to sustain and grow our community, and adding wind power to our agricultural, manufacturing and service industry mix provides for a more diverse and sustainable economy for our county and community.”

Today’s dedication event included a host of local speakers, industry experts and project landowners, as well as a showcase of rehabilitated raptors from the wild. One of the special guests was a red-tailed hawk from the Roosevelt Park Zoo in Minot, N.D. As part of Iberdrola Renewables’ Avian and Bat Protection Plan, the company is helping the Roosevelt Park Zoo establish its first avian protection program.

“Wind farms get built because of good relationships with customers, turbine suppliers, permitting agencies and landowners,” said Kevin Devlin, vice president for Iberdrola Renewables. “We are honored to be a part of the Pierce County community, and we look forward to providing economic support and renewable, homegrown energy in Rugby for many years to come.”

Power from the Rugby Wind Power Project meets the annual energy needs of 11,000 homes served by Missouri River Energy Services, an organization of member communities throughout the region.

“We are pleased to be the first utility taking power from the Rugby Wind Power Project and be able to provide our customers with an additional 40 megawatts of renewable energy,” said Tom Heller, CEO for Missouri River Energy Services. “The addition of the Rugby project is an important component of our resource mix to help meet future renewable energy standards.”

The new project comprises 71 new Suzlon S88 – 2.1 MW turbines that produce 149.1 MW of clean, renewable energy.

“Our company is proud to be a part of the Rugby Wind Power Project, and our role in providing local jobs for the community,” said Duncan Koerbel, chief reliability officer and global OMS president for Suzlon Wind Energy Corporation. “We are pleased to support the growth of wind energy in the region.”

At the peak of Rugby’s construction, the project employed more than 250 construction workers.

“We had many of our local North Dakota construction workers on this project last spring and summer,” said Jason Kaufman from Wanzek Construction, Inc., which is based in Fargo, N.D. “Iberdrola Renewables is a great organization to work with. They have a strong commitment to helping power our nation while supporting economic growth of local communities. It’s rewarding to see the Rugby Wind Power Project operating and providing renewable energy for our state.”

Numerous North Dakota businesses – all located within 100 miles of the Rugby Wind Power Project – provided vital services and supplies during construction, including the following:

Deplazes Concrete of Rugby – Concrete

Rugby Lumber, Inc. of Rugby – Supplies

*Suzlon and REpower, if taken together, stand as the world’s third leading wind turbine supplier group in terms of market share. Market share of 9.8 percent is derived from BTMConsult ApS World Market Update 2009, ranking Suzlon with 6.4 percent of global market share and REpower with 3.4 percent of global market share.