In 2008 Basin Electric's board of directors established two for-profit subsidiaries, PrairieWinds ND 1 Inc. and PrairieWinds SD 1 Inc. to develop wind projects in North Dakota and South Dakota, respectively.
PrairieWinds ND 1 Inc.
PrairieWinds ND 1, Inc. was formed to develop a 115.5 megawatt (MW) wind project south of Minot, ND, called PrairieWinds 1. Construction began in August 2009 and was complete in late December 2009. Power from PrairieWinds 1 flows to Basin Electric's customers through an interconnection with Western Area Power Administration's transmission system.
PrairieWinds 1 consists of 77 turbines. Directly adjacent is the Minot Wind Project, which consists of two 1.3-MW turbines built in 2002, and three 1.5-MW turbines built in 2009. Minot Wind is located south of Minot.
PrairieWinds SD 1 Inc.
PrairieWinds SD 1 Inc. was formed to develop wind projects in South Dakota. Crow Lake Wind, located near White Lake, SD, was fully operational at the end of February 2011.
Crow Lake Wind is the largest wind project project owned solely by a cooperative in the United States.
The project consists of 108 GE 1.5-megawatt turbines – 100 are owned and operated by PrairieWinds SD 1, Inc., one turbine is owned by Mitchell Technical Institute, and the remaining seven are owned by a group of local community investors called the South Dakota Wind Partners. PrairieWinds SD 1 constructed the turbines for the Wind Partners and MTI, and operates and maintains them. PrairieWinds SD 1 also purchases the electricity generated by the eight turbines.