wind power

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.

Shelved wind farm could be soon under construction

May 11, 2017

A wind farm project that has been on the shelf for several years may soon be built.

The Merricourt Wind Power Project was to be built near Ashley, in McIntosh County. The Public Service Commission had given the project siting approval in 2008. However, it was never built.

But now, the developer has filed a new siting application – and the PSC has scheduled a hearing on it.

Commissioners said some of the proposed wind power projects couldn’t find anyone to buy the power, so they weren’t built.

PSC to hold 'conversations' on renewable energy

Nov 7, 2016
Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

The Public Service Commission is looking at holding a series of conversations with the public – to discuss renewable energy

This comes after Xcel Energy announced it is going to be developing four new wind farms – three in Minnesota, one in Dickey County, North Dakota. In a news release, Xcel said it would save customers “hundreds of millions of dollars” in energy costs over the next 20 years.

"I didn't know about this until I saw the press release," said Commissioner Brian Kalk. He said Xcel has not yet filed a wind farm permit application with the PSC.

Basin Electric's power generation mix is changing

Aug 16, 2016

Basin Electric Power Cooperative said its sources of fuel to generate power have changed quite a bit since the year 2000.

Basin senior legislative representative Dale Niezwaag said in 2000, 85 percent of electricity generated by the co-op came from coal, with 10 percent hydropower, and the rest from oil, diesel and wind.

And by the end of this year...

"We'll have about 24 percent of our portfolio as renewable," Niezwaag said. "About 23 percent of that is wind."

The rest of that mix: 46 percent coal and 19 percent natural gas.

Large wind farm project planned for Barnes County

Jul 21, 2016

A big new wind farm is proposed for Barnes County.

It would be 300 megawatts, and it would be called the “Glacier Ridge Wind Farm.” It would be on 34,450 acres about five miles northeast of Valley City. And it would consist of up to 87 turbines.

The North Dakota Public Service Commission has just received the application.

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.

Opponents of a proposed wind farm in southern Stark County say they’re not opposed to wind power development – but they have a number of concerns about how the proposed Brady Wind farm is being handled – especially at the county level.

Concerned Citizens of Stark County has become an intervener in the case before the North Dakota Public Service Commission. The group has also taken the Stark County Commission to court in that matter.

Stark County wind farm hearing delayed

Feb 26, 2016
Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

The Public Service Commission has rescheduled a hearing for a proposed 150 megawatt wind farm to be built in southern Stark County.

The Brady Wind Energy Center would use up to 87 turbines. It would be close to Lefor. The PSC had scheduled a hearing March 2nd. But a group called “Concerned Citizens of Stark County” has intervened in the matter – and it asked the PSC for extra time to prepare for the hearing.

PSC approves oil patch wind farm

Dec 3, 2015

The Public Service Commission has approved a new wind farm in Williams County.

The Lindahl Wind Farm would be 150 megawatts, using up to 75 turbines. Its price tag is $248 million.

Commissioner Brian Kalk says the city of Tioga worried that having the wind farm that close to the ciity limits could constrain the city’s growth.

"The initial footprint would have been two miles north of Tioga," said Kalk. "Now that footprint is four miles north of Tioga."

PSC okays site plan for Rolette wind farm

Nov 19, 2015
Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

The Public Service Commission has approved the siting plan for a new 100 megawatt wind farm to be located in Rolette County.

The Rolette Wind Energy Project is to be built south of the city of Rolette. It would use no more than 59 wind turbines.

The PSC held a second formal hearing on the wind farm – because of concerns about bald eagles in the area. That issue arose after a dead eagle was found beneath a turbine in the Bison wind farm in Mercer County.

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