For the last nine years, Western’s Renewable Energy Program Manager Randy Manion—on behalf of DOE’s Wind Powering America initiative—has sought to recognize cooperatives that lead the pack in wind development.
At the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association’s annual Tech Advantage Conference in Orlando, Fla., March 8 to 11, Manion presented Karen Thingelstad of Minnkota Power Cooperative with the 2011 Wind Cooperative of the Year Award.
Minnkota was recognized for developing North Dakota’s first utility-owned wind turbine and for investing in wind energy through power purchase agreements with several wind projects. Wind energy now represents more than 30 percent of the generation and transmission cooperative’s total member energy requirements, collectively contributing an average of nearly 1,300 gigawatt-hours per year at an average annual capacity factor of 41 percent.
Read the whole story on the Department of Energy’s EnergyBlog.