Construction begins on $450m Aurora wind farm in North Dakota

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Enel has begun construction on the 299MW Aurora wind farm in North Dakota, with an investment of $450m.

Expected to start generating power in 2021, Aurora is Enel Green Power’s second wind farm in North Dakota.

The wind farm is located in Williams and Mountrail counties in North Dakota. It is located near the 150MW Lindahl wind farm in Williams County, which began operations in 2017.

Once operational, the Aurora wind farm will be able to generate approximately 1.3TWh annually while avoiding the emission of around 850,000 tons of CO2.

Power generated by the wind farm will be sold to global apparel retailer Gap and local utility Basin Electric Power Cooperative.

Under a 23-year bundled power purchase agreement (PPA), Basin Electric Power Cooperative will purchase a 142MW portion of electricity generated by the wind farm.

Gapf, through a 12-year virtual PPA announced in August, will buy a 90MW portion of the Aurora wind farm.

The power bought by Gap will be enough to power over 1,500 of its retail stores, equivalent to around 50% of the electricity needs of the more than 3,300 stores operated by the retailer worldwide.

Enel Green Power CEO Antonio Cammisecra said: “The construction of Aurora demonstrates Enel Green Power’s strength as an integrated developer-builder-operator in North America, expanding our presence in key regions and providing flexible solutions tailored to help commercial customers achieve their sustainability goals.”

Currently, Enel Green Power is constructing more than 1.5GW of wind and solar capacity.

The company’s other projects include the 236.5MW White Cloud wind project in Missouri, the 66MW Whitney Hill wind project in Illinois and the 450MW High Lonesome wind project and the 497MW Roadrunner solar project both in Texas.

Enel Green Power North America currently has projects operating and under development in 25 US states and two Canadian provinces.