Wind Power News: North Dakota
These news and opinion items are gathered by National Wind Watch to help keep readers informed about developments related to industrial wind energy. They are the products of the organizations or individuals noted and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of National Wind Watch.
A Minneapolis federal judge has tossed out a lawsuit against Xcel Energy, filed because the utility canceled a planned $400 million wind farm in North Dakota out of a concern it could harm birds on the endangered species list. U.S. District Judge Michael Davis on Wednesday, April 3, dismissed the lawsuit brought by enXco Development Corp., which had planned to build the 150-megawatt Merricourt wind farm for Xcel. Minneapolis-based Xcel canceled the project in 2011 because it said enXco failed . . .
A federal judge has sided with Xcel Energy and vindicated the utility for its 2010 decision to cancel a $400 million wind farm in North Dakota that posed a potential risk to two protected birds. U.S. District Judge Michael Davis dismissed a lawsuit filed by EnXco, the would-be developer of the Merricourt project, whose wind turbines were seen as a risk to the piping plover and whooping crane. EnXco, a U.S. affiliate of Paris-based EDF Energies Nouvelles, sued Xcel for . . .
Two Minnesota power companies said Friday they are considering spending more than $250 million on renewable energy projects. Minnesota Power, the Duluth-based utility that supplies electricity to the Iron Range, said it may accelerate development of a planned North Dakota wind farm, possibly beginning construction this year instead of in 2016 or 2017 to take advantage of a federal tax credit. The project’s estimated price tag is $226 million. Separately, Xcel Energy Inc. of Minneapolis, the state’s largest power company, . . .
A proposed wind turbine installation in North Dakota poses a threat to the critically endangered whooping crane, of which fewer than 400 remain in the wild, and yet the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) is considering granting a permit for the facility’s operators to kill the cranes, along with federally threatened piping plovers. In response, 76 environmental organizations are demanding FWS conduct a full analysis of the project’s impact — perhaps literal impact — on the birds. Whooping cranes . . .
Seventy-six groups led by American Bird Conservancy (ABC), one of the nation’s leading bird conservation organizations, have called on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to fully analyze the environmental consequences of a proposed North Dakota wind farm to the endangered Whooping Crane. FWS is considering issuing the first-ever Incidental Take Permit (ITP) to a wind farm for the killing of endangered Whooping Cranes and threatened Piping Plovers. “Because there are fewer than 400 individual Whooping Cranes left in . . .
The extensions of the production tax credit for renewable energy passed as part of the agreements averting the fiscal cliff may bring wind farm construction to the Courtenay area this year, according to Betsy Engelking, vice president of Geronimo Wind Energy. Engelking said the Courtenay project could be sized between 100 and 200 megawatts and range from about 58 to 120 turbines. The total cost of the project would range between $200 million and $350 million. “The extension was very . . .
WEST FARGO – The DMI Industries wind turbine plant here has closed, a West Fargo official said Monday. What will become of the facility remains to be seen, said Mark Vaux, West Fargo economic development and community services director. Vaux said the city is in contact with Dallas-based Trinity Industries, which recently purchased DMI from Otter Tail Corp., but he said Trinity officials are “holding their plans for this facility very close to the vest and have assured us they . . .
I sympathize with workers in Grand Forks who have received pink slips from LM Wind Power, but I take issue with U.S. House candidate Pam Gulleson and others who immediately would roll over and extend the tax break for wind power manufacturers. These “tax incentive” advocates should check into the current contract that MinnKota Power signed with the developer of the Langdon (N.D.) wind farm. The MinnKota board, in its infinite wisdom, signed a contract agreeing to pay the developer . . .
Separately, the commission endorsed a construction permit for Allete Clean Energy, a unit of Allete Inc. of Duluth, Minn., to build a 100-megawatt wind farm in Mercer and Morton counties, north of Glen Ullin.
Cramer and Brian Kalk, the commission’s chairman, said Allete has not yet decided how many wind towers it will build, or on the size of the turbines it will use to generate the power. The company will have to provide that information before construction may start, they said.
Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) – It was a traffic nightmare during rush hour. A semi carrying a wind turbine was stuck on the on-ramp to I-94. The semi was heading northbound on I-29. It apparently turned too tightly on the exit and slipped off the road. A tow truck was needed to pull the semi back onto the road. That exit was closed for nearly an hour during rush hour. It opened back up just a short while ago.