South Dakota Gov. Mike Rounds and local community leaders today joined officials from NextEra Energy Resources, the largest wind and solar energy producer in North America, Basin Electric Power Cooperative, Western Area Power Administration and East River Electric Power Cooperative to dedicate the Day County Wind Energy Center.

More than 150 local and regional guests joined the governor and company officials at a site near Groton to celebrate the commercial operation of the 99-megawatt (MW) Day County Wind Energy Center and the organizations that helped make the facility a reality.

“It’s extremely gratifying to see this impressive project in our state,” Gov. Rounds said. “South Dakota has an abundance of wind, and we hope it will continue to be harnessed far and wide in the future to make clean energy, boost local economies, provide good jobs, and add to the already excellent quality of life enjoyed by South Dakota citizens.”

Located in Day County about 20 miles east of Groton, the Day County Wind Energy Center has a generating capacity of 99 MW and is capable of providing enough power for nearly 25,000 homes. Commercial operation of the 66, 1.5-MW wind turbines began in April 2010.

“The Day County Wind Energy Center is the latest example of NextEra Energy Resources ongoing commitment to expanding renewable energy projects in South Dakota and across the United States,” said Mike O’Sullivan, senior vice president of development for NextEra Energy Resources. “In addition to generating clean, emission-free energy, this project will have an impact on the local economy through the jobs created, taxes paid, lease payments to landowners, and goods and services sourced locally.”

Basin Electric will eventually purchase the entire output from the project, but electricity produced in the first three years of operation will be sold to the Western Area Power Administration, a federal power-marketing agency.