Bent Tree Wind Farm up and running

The 122 turbine facility, located near Albert Lea, MN will produce enough electricity to power about 50,000 homes.


Alliant Energy Corp. Bent Tree Wind FarmWisconsin Power and Light Co. said it has finished construction of its Minnesota wind farm and that it is generating power. The $460 million project began delivering power to the Midwest electricity grid Monday morning, about a week ahead of the company's most recent projection, utility spokesman Steve Schultz said.

The Bent Tree Wind Farm near Albert Lea, Minn., consists of 122 turbines capable producing up to 201 megawatts of electricity. Over a year's time, that's enough to power about 50,000 homes, according to the utility.

Wisconsin's renewable electricity mandate requires that 10 percent of the state's electricity come from renewable sources by 2015. The Legislature last year opted not to up the ante on the state's renewable mandate when it didn't vote on a bill that would have required 25 percent of the state's power to come from renewable sources by 2025, similar to Minnesota's standard.

The state Public Service Commission said the Madison utility has generated more than 5 percent of its power from renewable sources in 2009 and that the Bent Tree project would enable it to comply with the 2015 mandate.

The utility began generating power from its first wind farm, Cedar Ridge in Fond du Lac County, in late 2008. WP and L is a subsidiary of Alliant Energy Corp., Madison.

Customer groups and state regulators had criticized Alliant for not disclosing details about transmission line constraints that prevent some of the power generated from the project from getting onto the power grid.

In a recent report, Alliant said it saw far fewer such grid bottlenecks in recent months as the project started generating test power. It's still forecasting that it won't be able to achieve full output from the wind project onto the grid until a power line upgrade is completed early next year.

- Edited by Gust Gianos, CFE Media, Consulting-Specifying Engineer,

No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2013 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
A cool solution: Collaboration, chemistry leads to foundry coat product development; See the 2015 Product of the Year Finalists
Raising the standard: What's new with NFPA 70E; A global view of manufacturing; Maintenance data; Fit bearings properly
Sister act: Building on their father's legacy, a new generation moves Bales Metal Surface Solutions forward; Meet the 2015 Engineering Leaders Under 40
Cyber security cost-efficient for industrial control systems; Extracting full value from operational data; Managing cyber security risks
Drilling for Big Data: Managing the flow of information; Big data drilldown series: Challenge and opportunity; OT to IT: Creating a circle of improvement; Industry loses best workers, again
Pipeline vulnerabilities? Securing hydrocarbon transit; Predictive analytics hit the mainstream; Dirty pipelines decrease flow, production—pig your line; Ensuring pipeline physical and cyber security
Upgrading secondary control systems; Keeping enclosures conditioned; Diagnostics increase equipment uptime; Mechatronics simplifies machine design
Designing positive-energy buildings; Ensuring power quality; Complying with NFPA 110; Minimizing arc flash hazards
Building high availability into industrial computers; Of key metrics and myth busting; The truth about five common VFD myths

Annual Salary Survey

After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.

The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.

Read more: 2014 Salary Survey: Confidence rises amid the challenges

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.