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Repowering wind farms - PSC says Otter Tail did the right things when it proposed repowering its Luverne wind project

North Dakota’s Public Service Commission has approved Otter Tail Power Company’s plans to re-power a wind farm.

The Luverne Wind project is a 49.5 megawatt facility in Steele County. The utility plans to upgrade it to 52.8 megawatts.

Commissioner Julie Fedorchak said this will mean larger turbines and turbine blades. She said Otter Tail has worked with surrounding landowners, telling them what the plans are, and getting their OK.

"The Commission is taking a careful look at company plans for repowering these facilities," Fedorchak said. "These kind of projects extend the life of these facilities, so it's important to look at what the changes are and how they might impact affected landowners, and make sure that we're doing the best to minimize those impacts."

Fedorchak said in this case, the company has done that.

PSC chairman Randy Christmann said the order in this case will be very important to landowners dealing with other wind farm repowering.

"We're making sure that the noise limitations, the property setbacks, as well as the architectural review, that those kinds of things that people living around this get the same kinds of protection that they had when the case was originally sited years ago," Christmann said.

The Commission says 10 North Dakota wind farms have repowered, or are in the process of repowering.

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