Willow Creek Wind is a 103 MW project located in Butte County, South Dakota. As the second Ørsted project in SPP (Southwest Power Pool) territory, it further diversifies the operational portfolio into a market which will play an important part of Ørsted’s growth in North America.
“The completion of Willow Creek Wind marks the successful transition of another safe, on-time, on-budget project in 2020 into our operational fleet, a solid team achievement given the COVID-19 impact across the industry this year,” says Neil O’Donovan, Chief Operating Officer of Ørsted’s onshore business. “The team’s adaptability and resilience in delivering the Willow Creek project during this challenging period while working with multiple new partners is particularly satisfying.”
Willow Creek will generate new property tax revenue that can support local services and provide support to project landowners, who will receive long-term rental income by hosting the turbines.
BHE Renewables, a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Energy Company, provided tax equity for Willow Creek as part of a portfolio with the 230 MW Plum Creek project in Nebraska, which was commissioned in June this year.
Investment decision on Western Trail Wind
In addition, Ørsted has also strengthened its ERCOT asset base with the final investment decision of its largest onshore wind project to date, Western Trail Wind. Located near its Lockett Wind project, the 367 MW project is expected to reach commercial operation in 2021.
With the completion of Willow Creek and addition of Western Trail Wind, Ørsted’s onshore business now has 2.7 GW in operation and under construction, growth of 2 GW over the past 2 years.