Wind energy isn’t new to North Dakota, it’s been around for about a decade.
But over the years, opinions on wind farms have evolved. Right now, the Public Service Commission is in the process of deliberating Next Era’s Brady Wind Farm in Stark County, which has a lot of opposition from community members.
The 15 hour public hearing regarding Brady Wind Farm that occurred a couple months ago is still creating controversy. After an initial work session the PSC came up with additional questions for the company building the proposed project.
Next Era Energy has responded, which led to today’s special hearing with the commissioners.
The Public Service Commission unanimously approved a 10-day comment period regarding Brady Wind Farm in Stark County.
Next Era addressed issues regarding shadow flicker from turbines and proximity to non-participating landowners. Interveners and the public now have a chance to respond.
“It’s a slow process and that’s frustrating,” said Tome Riechert, Concerned Citizens of Stark County member.
Riechert says his organization will counter the energy companies claims.
“As the commission continues to deliberate the Brady I Wind Farm, we are walking through some of these issues and they’re not new issues, but I think the level of concern has become heightened,” said Public Service Commissioner, Brian Kalk.
Next Era says non-participating landowners on the western edge of the wind farm will experience 30 hours a year of shadow flicker in perfect conditions. It will also be 1,000 feet from the landowners outside the project zone.
“We don’t trust the company that they’re necessarily actually going to do what they say and then the question is who’s going to come by later and hold them accountable,” says Riechert.
The commissioners agreed that they are going to move forward on creating a draft order for the project, no time table was set for when a final ruling will be made.
Kalk says the PSC is following the appropriate laws and rules to make the right decision.
The public has until June 6 to comment on only what Next Era proposed.
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