Crownbutte Wind Power, Inc., a developer of merchant wind-power parks, with a current pipeline of over 640 MW of projects in various stages of development across North Dakota, South Dakota and Montana, recently announced that the company has received fast-track status by the Midwest ISO for its 20 MW wind project near Elgin, North Dakota, and its 20 MW wind project near Wibaux, Montana.

Both projects have been fast-tracked through the current system planning and analysis phase of the interconnection queue to the final definitive planning phase. Of the nearly 150 projects in the region, Crownbutte’s wind projects were the only two selected for fast-track status, which should allow the company to take advantage of a current U.S. Treasury grant program to aid renewable energy development.

By creating strategically sized wind-power projects to fit into an existing power grid so only minimal transmission system upgrades are required, Crownbutte can begin construction and operation much sooner than would be the case for larger projects requiring new transmission. Specifically, the Elgin and Wibaux projects are at a significant advantage, given that the company can begin construction when they finish the last stage in the queue and are granted an interconnection agreement without having to wait for new transmission lines to be built.