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Wind Power News: North Dakota

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These news and opinion items are gathered by National Wind Watch to help keep readers informed about developments related to industrial wind energy. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions of National Wind Watch. They are the products of and owned by the organizations or individuals noted and are shared here according to “fair use” and “fair dealing” provisions of copyright law.

November 8, 2019 • North DakotaPrint storyE-mail story

As wind farms age, owners look to ‘repower’ them with new blades

The owner of a wind farm in Barnes County wants to “repower” the turbines with new blades and gearboxes that will increase the amount of electricity produced at the facility, a process that’s expected to become more common across the state as wind farms age. The Ashtabula I Wind Energy Center was built in 2008 with a capacity to generate 148.5 megawatts of power. Installing the new equipment would boost the capacity to 160.4 megawatts. Ashtabula Wind, a subsidiary of . . . Complete story »

November 8, 2019 • North DakotaPrint storyE-mail story

Wind farm repowering decision delayed

The owners of a wind farm near Valley City want to re-power the existing farm, by installing larger turbines and bigger blades. But the North Dakota Public Service Commission isn’t yet ready to give it the go-ahead. The Ashtabula Wind Energy Center was built by NextEra Energy. Part of the farm was sold to Otter Tail Power. NextEra wants to raise the capacity from its part of the center from the current 148.5 megawatts to 160.4 megawatts. Commissioner Randy Christmann . . . Complete story »

November 7, 2019 • Editorials, North DakotaPrint storyE-mail story

Tribune editorial: Wind projects encountering more hurdles

Getting proposed wind farms spinning in North Dakota isn’t as easy as in the past, and it’s likely to get more difficult. There are growing concerns about the projects, ranging from the impact on the viewshed to the noise created by the turbines. There were other issues raised last week during a Public Service Commission meeting on the Ruso Wind Project in Ward and McLean counties. The Tribune editorial board feels while they are valid issues, they won’t necessarily stop . . . Complete story »

November 1, 2019 • North DakotaPrint storyE-mail story

As PSC considers wind farm permit, regulators look at lighting, local workforce issues

State regulators are working through several issues surrounding a wind farm proposed in Ward and McLean counties, including the lighting system atop the turbines and the facility’s interconnection to the electric grid. The North Dakota Public Service Commission also is weighing a request from a labor union to require that the wind farm report how many of the workers involved in its construction come from the local area. Commissioners met Thursday to discuss those matters related to the proposed Ruso . . . Complete story »

October 10, 2019 • North DakotaPrint storyE-mail story

Congestion on transmission lines hinders new wind farms

As wind developers seek to build more wind farms in North Dakota, they’re encountering a problem: congestion on the power lines. The topic came up Wednesday in a discussion involving the Public Service Commission and wind industry representatives, who told regulators that the issue is causing companies to think twice about locating a project in the state. “There is just no room on the transmission system,” said Chris Kunkle, government and regulatory affairs manager with Apex Clean Energy. The issue . . . Complete story »

September 24, 2019 • North DakotaPrint storyE-mail story

Power grid issues, and ‘wind fatigue’

Members of the North Dakota Public Service Commission say there is a potential stumbling block to developing more electricity production in the state. And that is – the power grid. “The transmission grid is at or approaching its capacity,” said Commissioner Julie Fedorchak. Fedorchak said projects like wind farms then have to be put in a “queue”, waiting for space on the grid. She said that can be expensive. Fedorchak said, for example, the proposed Ruso wind project’s interconnection costs . . . Complete story »

September 20, 2019 • North DakotaPrint storyE-mail story

As wind farms encroach on missile sites, Air Force asks state for greater buffer zone

The U.S. Air Force is asking state regulators to consider requiring the buffer between wind turbines and intercontinental ballistic missile facilities to increase tenfold. Representatives from the 20th Air Force, which oversees the 91st Missile Wing at Minot Air Force Base, say their concerns stem from the risk the turbines pose to helicopters flying over missile fields. The missile wing operates the 150 ICBM launch sites and 15 missile alert facilities in North Dakota. “As the windmills get bigger and . . . Complete story »

September 13, 2019 • North DakotaPrint storyE-mail story

As wind grows in North Dakota, so does opposition

Burleigh County officials rejected plans for a wind farm near Bismarck after opponents donned red T-shirts and crowded the local civic center, and state regulators sided with wildlife officials in denying a separate proposal for the state’s northwest corner. To project opponents, the rejections come amid growing unrest over wind energy development. Dave Nehring said he didn’t pay much attention to the turbines until some were being planned near his property east of Bismarck, which he worried would affect property values and wildlife. The experience prompted Nehring to launch North Dakota Visionkeepers, which he described as an “information clearinghouse” to boost grassroots efforts against wind farms. He said his crusade is more substantive than a "not in my backyard" attitude and argued wind development is being propped up by tax breaks. “The more I found out, the angrier I became,” he said. Complete story »

August 23, 2019 • North DakotaPrint storyE-mail story

Incumbents retain seats in likely first North Dakota township recall

Two officers of a Burleigh County township narrowly held onto their seats in a bitter election Wednesday that might be North Dakota’s first township recall vote. Morton Township Supervisor Daymon Mills and Clerk/Treasurer Mary Malard each won a two-year term, on votes of 30-26 and 29-27, respectively, against challengers, according to Lois Mills, a judge who canvassed votes and is Daymon Mills’ wife. Division over a once-proposed wind farm project led to the recall election, an effort begun in March . . . Complete story »

August 21, 2019 • North DakotaPrint storyE-mail story

Wind farm controversy drives likely first township recall in North Dakota

Division over a once-proposed wind farm has led some township residents in Burleigh County to petition the recall of township officers, in what might be the first such recall in North Dakota. The Morton Township election is set for 4:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Moffit Community Hall in Moffit. Morton Township is about 20 miles southeast of Bismarck, directly west of Moffit. Supervisor Daymon Mills and Clerk/Treasurer Mary Malard are subject to the recall. Reasons given by petitioners are Mills . . . Complete story »

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