It was announced October 21 that Mitchell Technical Institute has been awarded $1.67 million from the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA). The grant will allow MTI to own its own operational wind turbine at the Crow Lake site being developed by Basin Electric near White Lake, SD. The grant money will be combined with funds from the South Dakota Governor’s Office of Economic Development, Basin Electric Power Cooperative, General Electric, and MTI to cover the entire cost of the turbine.
MTI received assistance with the grant application from Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin earlier this year. Rep. Herseth Sandlin was able to bring the various entities together to discuss the critical need for the project and to help secure the EDA grant funding.
MTI’s Wind Turbine Technology program, launched in 2009, provides highly-trained technicians to the expanding wind industry. According to MTI president Greg Von Wald, “This project represents a nearly perfect example of public and private, education and industry, business and government working together for the betterment of our state.”
Basin Electric’s Crow Lake wind project will be sited approximately 30 miles from Mitchell, SD. The MTI turbine will be a part of that field and will be used for training purposes. When the turbine is not being used for training, it will be operational, generating electricity like any of the other 107 turbines at the site. The Crow Lake wind project will be the largest cooperative-owned wind farm in the U.S.