Siemens Energy has been awarded a major order by Minnesota Power for 64 units of the company’s latest 3MW D3 platform wind turbines to be installed at the Bison Wind Energy Centre near New Salem, North Dakota, US.

The innovative wind turbines feature a 113m rotor and 92.5m hub height and thus increased rating of 3.2MW. Installation of the turbines is scheduled to begin in mid-June 2014, and commercial operation is slated for December 2014, reports PennEnergy.

The scope of supply includes transportation, installation and commissioning, as well as a three-year service and maintenance agreement.

"With our innovative 3MW direct drive turbine we are increasing annual energy output with a larger rotor and a higher tower," stated Dr Markus Tacke, CEO of Siemens Wind Power. "We greatly value Minnesota Power’s confidence in our technologies and services, and are very pleased to partner with them once again as they continue to provide reliable, affordable and sustainable power to their customers."

The blades will be manufactured at Siemens’ facility in Fort Madison, Iowa. Additionally, the D3 nacelle component will be assembled in Hutchinson, Kansas. Assembly of this specific major component was recently moved from the company’s nacelle facility in Brande, Denmark, to Hutchinson, Kansas, which further demonstrates the company’s commitment to the U.S. wind industry.

"We’re pleased to partner with a world leader like Siemens as wind energy production develops and matures," said Minnesota Power chief operating officer Brad Oachs. "With the help of Siemens, we’ve integrated new direct drive technology into our Bison project while at the same time staying ahead of Minnesota’s aggressive renewable energy standard."

By 2025, utilities in Minnesota are required to supply 25 % of their power from renewables. Operators of nuclear power plants have to reach 30% renewables even earlier by 2020.

The 205-MW Bison 4 addition will increase Minnesota Power’s Bison Wind Energy Centre’s total MW output to nearly 500MW. Siemens also supplied all of the wind turbines for the previous three phases of the Bison Wind Energy Centre, which went into commercial operation in 2010 and 2012.