Duluth Provides Critical Hub for Wind Power Project Cargoes

peter roenna bbc chartering duluth
Peter Roenna arrives in Duluth, image courtesy Duluth Seaway Port Authority

After a trans-Atlantic voyage from Brande, Denmark, and navigating through the Great Lakes, BBC Chartering’s Peter Roenna arrived this week into Clure Public Marine Terminal in Duluth, Minnesota on the far western tip of Lake Superior carrying over two dozen wind energy components for Minnesota Power Company.

The Port of Duluth notes this is the 15th ship to arrive carrying Siemens wind power generation equipment destined Minnesota Power’s growing renewable energy installation in North Dakota.

Vanta Coda, Executive Director of the Duluth Seaway Port Authority commented:

“We are pleased to have been able to serve as a transport hub for Minnesota Power’s wind projects since their launch, and congratulate them on meeting the 25 percent renewable energy goal more than a full decade ahead of the state’s 2025 goal.”

Two other shiploads of Siemens wind equipment bound for North Dakota arrived at the port in June; two more are expected before the end of September,” the port notes.

The first shipments in 2006 for Minnesota Power included blades for a 98-megawatt wind farm in North Dakota from which Minnesota Power purchases all the electric generation.  Three construction phases later, the company is building a fourth, 205MW wind farm called Bison 4 which will utilize larger, more powerful Siemens wind turbine generators (WTGs) than those installed last year in phases 2 and 3 of the project.

Because the generators are more powerful, it will take only 64 turbines to produce about the same amount of electricity produced by 70 turbines in last year’s installation. Once operational, Bison 4 will push Minnesota Power past the 25 percent renewable energy goal established by Minnesota legislation 11 years ahead of schedule.

“This latest shipment of wind components is meaningful on several levels,” added Dave McMillan, Executive Vice President of Minnesota Power. “It turns a spotlight on the global nature of sustainable energy and the importance of efficiently transporting goods and services. This international ship’s arrival represents the resourcefulness Minnesota Power has shown in striving to reach the renewable energy mandate.”