wind power

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.

The Public Service Commission will be holding an additional public hearing on a wind farm project proposed for north central North Dakota.

The Rolette Wind Power project will be up to 100 megawatts, and would consist of up to 59 wind turbines. The initial hearing was June 29th. But Commissioner Brian Kalk says after a dead bald eagle was found at a Mercer County wind farm, there are renewed concerns.

The discovery of a dead bald eagle at a western North Dakota wind farm has prompted a member of the North Dakota Public Service Commission to wonder whether the rules for siting wind farms need to be tweaked.

The bird was found this summer at the Bison One wind farm on Mercer County.

"May particular concern is to make sure we understand what we should be doing in cases going forward on siting these wind farms, to make sure we don't cause problems for these eagles," said Commissioner Brian Kalk. "The death of a bald eagle is unacceptable."

Xcel buys Courtenay wind farm

Aug 25, 2015

The Public Service Commission has given Xcel Energy the go-ahead to purchase the 200 megawatt Courtenay Wind Farm in Stutsman County.

The wind farm was to be built by Geronimo Energy, and Xcel was going to buy the power. But the utility said it would be a better deal to buy the wind farm outright, saving its customers money.

"It'll save customers about $97 million over the 20 year life of the wind farm," said PSC Chairman Julie Fedorchak.

The Public Service Commission will hold a hearing September 4th for a wind farm in Mercer County – that had already been okayed.

The Antelope Hills Wind Energy Project is 172 megawatts. It would use up to 85 turbines. Back in December, the PSC approved the project under the name Sunflower Wind. But the wind farm changed hands – and the new owner has some changes in where the turbines will be placed.

Adams County wind farm moving forward

Jul 1, 2015

A proposed wind farm in Adams County has cleared more regulatory hurdles.

The Public Service Commission has granted MDU an “advanced determination of prudence” and a certificate of “public convenience and necessity” for the Thunder Spirit Wind Farm, to be built near Hettinger. It’s a 107.5 megawatt farm that will use 43 turbines.

Originally, MDU was going to buy the power produced by the wind farm. But the utility decided to actually buy the wind farm itself. The utility says the cost of the power would be about three cents per kilowatt hour.

PSC hearing on a Stark County wind farm postponed

May 14, 2015

The Public Service Commission has cancelled a formal hearing on a wind farm to be built in Stark County.

The Dickinson wind farm would have 87 turbines, and would produce 150 megawatts of power. There would also be a 33 mile transmission line. However, there’s opposition to it – and the Stark County Commission has denied a special use permit for the project.

PSC member Brian Kalk says the hearings had been scheduled next Monday at Dickinson State University. But he says the company asked for a delay.

New wind farm planned for Mercer County

Dec 18, 2014

A $240 million, 172 megawatt wind farm is planned for Mercer County.

A Delaware-based company is proposing the Antelope Hills wind farm northwest of Beulah. Basin Electric Power Cooperative will buy the power.

North Dakota already generates 1600 megawatts of wind power, with another 1200 megawatts being developed. Commissioner Julie Fedorchak says wind is an important part of an “all of the above” energy strategy.

MDU to buy wind farm

Nov 24, 2014

MDU will be adding to its wind power generation.

The utility has signed an agreement with Duluth-based Allete Clean Energy to buy a wind farm to be built in Hettinger County. Allete will build the 107 megawatt, 43 turbine wind farm – and then will sell it to MDU for $200 million.

"We have a growing customer demand, and so we needed to address that," said MDU spokesman Mark Hanson. "Once this comes on line, it will diversify our generation portfolio even more, and put our renewable generation at 20 percent of our production."

SE ND Wind farm revived

Nov 7, 2014

A proposed wind farm that was shelved after Xcel Energy decided not to buy the power has been revived.

The Merricort project is a 150 megawatt wind farm set in McIntosh and Dickey counties. It was first proposed in 2008. But Xcel walked away from a deal to buy the power in 2011. The developer – known at the time as enXco, and now as EDF Renewable Energy – sued for breach of contract – but that lawsuit was dismissed.