Montana-Dakota Utilities power line route approved by North Dakota PSC

Bismarck, N.D., July 13, 2011 – Montana-Dakota Utilities, a division of MDU Resources Group, won approval from the North Dakota Public Service Commission of a route permit for a transmission line and substation in southeastern North Dakota.

The nearly $21 million project would connect a proposed wind generation farm being developed by enXco, an EDF Energies Nouvelles Co., to the electric grid. The 150-MW wind farm, called the Merricourt Wind Project, is in Dickey and McIntosh counties in southeastern North Dakota.

The 230-kV transmission line will extend about 30 miles from Ellendale, N.D., to the proposed wind farm. The substation will be located near the wind farm. Construction is expected to begin next week, with completion expected early in the first quarter of 2012.

Montana-Dakota customers will not bear any of the costs associated with the project; those costs will be recovered through an approved interconnect tariff.

enXco has received all permits necessary to begin construction from the North Dakota Public Service Commission and Minnesota Public Utilities Commission and is ready to build if the utility purchaser, Northern States Power, agrees to resolve litigation over its attempt to terminate the project.

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