VALLEY CITY, N.D. – A new wind power development in Valley City took a step forward Tuesday but not without some serious questions from the Public Service Commission.
The Glacier Ridge Wind Farm would be the single largest wind farm in North Dakota if completed, but the proposed farm ran into some issues at Tuesday’s public hearing in Valley City.
“We cannot approve a project layout where the land owner is not a willing land owner, so this is a problem,” says Brian Kalk, ND Public Service Commission.
Glacier Ridge hasn’t secured all the easements needed for the project, and it’s a major concern for members of the Public Service Commission.
Members of the company say it’s just a technicality. They had all they easements, but they expired in 2015.
“We had easements before now. We’re updating them to meet that code, and it’s kind of trying to get it all done before developments happens,” says Jamie Middle, Peak Wind.
Now they’re just letting land owners do their due diligence on the new contracts.
The project is unique to most wind developments in the state. It’s part owned by the land owners who will have wind turbines on their property. But not everyone in the area is happy about the process.
“I’m very disappointed in the transparency of this project to this point. Until two days ago I had no clue where the turbines would be built,” says LeRoy Triebold, neighbor.
The project will have to clear some of these hurdles if they want to begin construction by the end of the year.
The next step for the project is a work session for commissioners where they will go over all the information they’ve received throughout the process and make a decision to issue permits or not.
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