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Energy & Environment

'Oliver III' wind farm approved by PSC

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.

Commissioner Brian Kalk says the wind farm is being built by NextEra – and the power will be sold to the MinnKota Cooperative, which is a generation and transmission cooperative.

"MinnKota is the G & T for eastern North Dakota," said Kalk. "This power will be used by not only North Dakotans, but Minnesotans, too. Cass County Electric and Nodak Electric customers will see the benefit."

Under the Morton County ordinance, a wind turbine will have to be 679 feet away from the property line of non-participating landowners. And under PSC rules, a turbine can’t be within 1400 feet of an occupied house. Commissioners praised Morton County for its cooperation.

"I don't ever want to say we have a cookie-cutter approach, where we say 'This is what we approved for this wind farm, so it applies across the board,'" Kalk said.

"Truly, this is a partnership," said PSC Chairman Julie Fedorchak. "It's a partnership between us and the counties. The counties have a unique role in looking at all of those factors that relate to how does this fit with the citizens here. What do the citizens think about it?"

All together, the Oliver wind farms will produce 197 megawatts.

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