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Public hearing set for Burleigh County wind turbine policy  

Credit:  By LEANN ECKROTH, Bismarck Tribune, www.bismarcktribune.com 20 September 2010 ~~

The Burleigh County Planning Commission on Monday set an Oct. 13 public hearing to consider revising its wind tower policy. The meeting will be held 5:15 p.m. at the City/County Building.

It’s expected the full Burleigh County Commission will review the policy request at its 5 p.m. Oct. 18 meeting and may make its final decision.

Nextera Energy, the county’s first applicant for a wind farm permit, has asked the archaeological, environmental and easement costs that are assessed when they apply for a permit to be moved to the construction period of the wind farm project.

County commissioners were told the current policy delayed building Nextera’s project in Crofte Township by one to two years. Work has been able to start in Ecklund Township, which has its own wind farm policy.

One year after it applied, Nextera said Burleigh County’s policy has kept it from starting.

Nextera wants to change the policy so others won’t be laden with extra costs before they know they’ve gotten the wind farm permit.

Nextera has paid $500,000 in the application process.

It applied for the wind tower permits while Burleigh County was drafting its first policy.

The first applicant felt the brunt of many contentious meetings as county commissioners weighed testimony from those who welcomed the energy development against some rural residents who felt it would threaten their quiet, open rural lifestyle.

Company representatives said the current policy has slowed building because Nextera typically does the archaeological and environmental studies when it starts building. Nextera officials said the policy is repetitive.

Source:  By LEANN ECKROTH, Bismarck Tribune, www.bismarcktribune.com 20 September 2010

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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