wind energy

Wind power still 'hot' in ND

Nov 17, 2017
Prairie Public file

North Dakota’s Public Service Commissioners belive there is still a lot of interest in building wind power facilities in North Dakota.

The PSC this week worked on expanding three already-approved wind power projects, and is considering another one.

Commissioner Brian Kroshus said there’s no question it is being driven by the federal production tax credit – which is set to expire soon.

"When we visit with companies, they've indicated the expiring PTCs are playing a part in bringing this wind on line as quickly as they can," Kroshus said.

Xcel Energy, Wanzek Construction partner on wind farms

Oct 24, 2017
D. Webster

Xcel Energy is expanding its wind energy portfolio.

They've partnered with Wanzek Construction to build the Foxtail Wind Farm in Dickey County, North Dakota, as well as the Freeborn Wind Farm located primarily in Iowa with some turbines located in Minnesota. The projects will total 350 megawatts and about 175 turbines. Mark Nisbet is principal manager of Xcel Energy. He says including wind in their energy portfolio helps keep their electric rates down.

Wind energy is growing North Dakota's economy

Oct 20, 2017

North Dakota's future in wind energy is looking promising.

According to a study by North Dakota State University's Department of Agribusiness and Applied Economics, wind energy had an economic impact of more than 170-million dollars in 2016. Tammy Ibach is director of North Dakotans for Comprehensive Energy Solutions. She says the study predicts a growing future for North Dakota's energy strategy.

Otter Tail Power Company

Otter Tail Power Company is proposing a North Dakota wind farm and a South Dakota natural gas power plant to replace an aging coal-fired power plant.

The plant is the Hoot Lake power plant.

"It's really a 1950s-era plant," said Otter Tail vice-president for public relations Cris Oehler. "If you've got a car, you can keep it going for some miles. But at some point, you need to buy a new vehicle. And that's kind of where we are with the Hoot Lake plant."

In North Dakota, Will Wind Keep The Lights On?

May 16, 2017
Amy Sisk / Inside Energy

Steven Somsen’s farm has looked the same his entire life -- it’s flat, with wheat and soybeans that will soon grow as far as the eye can see.

But the 61-year-old’s view changed last year.

“Those are the closest ones to us, but they’re not our towers,” he said, pointing to several nearby wind turbines. “That’s the neighbors’. Ours are way, way off in there.”

One hundred wind turbines dot the farmland around his rural community of Courtenay in eastern North Dakota. Somsen has three on his land.

ND Legislature

The House has rejected an amendment to a power generation study bill that opponents said would have severely restricted wind power development in North Dakota.

The amendment would have required the Public Service Commission to consider “need” when siting a new power generation facility.  Supporters said all this does is ask the PSC to do its job.

"This is not a war on wind thing," said Rep. Todd Porter (R-Mandan). "This is making sure that the next one in isn't causing someone else to drop out."

Wind farm moratorium loses in the Senate

Feb 23, 2017
Courtesy ND Legislature

The state Senate has rejected the idea of imposing a two year moratorium on wind development.

Instead, it approved a study of North Dakota’s power generation.

Wind farm in the Bakken under construction

Jul 5, 2016

It’s been several years since it was first proposed – but a 150 megawatt wind farm near Tioga is now under construction.

The Lindahl wind project will cost $220 million to build.

It will be owned by Enel Green Power North America. It’s Enel’s first North Dakota wind project.

"This project begain about eight years ago, with a group of motivated landowners who had an interest in starting their own wind farm," said Enel Senior manager of business development Conor Branch. He says in 2014, the landowners sold the project to Tradewind Energy, Enel’s development partner.

'Oliver III' wind farm approved by PSC

Jun 23, 2016
Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

The Public Service Commission has approved a 100 megawatt wind farm that will be in Morton and Oliver counties.

“Oliver III” is the third wind farm for  the area that will be built by NextEra. “Oliver I” and “Oliver II” are in Oliver County – while “Oliver III” will be almost completely in Morton County. The new wind farm will have up to 48 turbines. The price tag: $153 million. A new associated high voltage power line will cost another $11 million.

The first wind farm hasn’t yet been built – but the developers of the Brady wind farm in Stark and Hettinger counties have proposed a second wind farm for that same area.

Brady II would be 150 megawatts. It would have up to 72 turbines.

The North Dakota Public Service Commission is requiring the developer to submit the proposed locations for the wind turbines at least 30 days before the public hearing.

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