Interim committee studying wind power siting

Dec 14, 2017

Interim Natural Resources Committee meets 12/13/17.
Credit Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

An interim Legislative committee has begun a study of wind power in North Dakota – looking at wind farm siting laws and rules, as well as rules for decommissioning wind farms when they’re no longer used.

"The process of siting wind projects has gotten more and more controversial, as we see more farms developing," Public Service Commissioner Julie Fedorchak told the interim Natural Resources Committee. "We've also gotten better at it."

But Fedorchak told the Committee she's open to find more improvements.

Fedorchak said there are already 3000 megawatts of wind up and operating in North Dakota, and there’s more wind projects on the drawing board. She told the Committee the PSC has just finalized some new rules for wind farm decommissioning and reclamation.

One committee member – Rep. Todd Porter (R-Mandan) – asked Fedorchak if she believed the current laws concerning wind farm siting are adequate.

"I feel the siting process and the laws and rules governing it are very thorough," Fedorchak said. "I do not see any great holes."

The Committee will consider changes, if necessary, to be presented to the 2019 Legislature.