Still some issues on a proposed wind farm in McLean County | Prairie Public Broadcasting

Still some issues on a proposed wind farm in McLean County

Jan 13, 2020

The Public Service Commission is still working through some issues regarding a proposed 205 megawatt wind farm in northern McLean County.

The Ruso wind farm would have 60 to 63 turbines.

The issue is the new light mitigating technology. It would use radar to detect planes in the area of the wind farm, to turn on lights.  State law says wind farms permitted after June of 2016 have to have that technology.

But Commissioner Julie Fedorchak said the Ruso case is different.

"This wind farm can't have a light mitigating technology, like the traditional ADLS (Automatic Detection Lighting System)," Fedorchak said. "It isn't going to be allowed here by teh FAA."

Fedorchak said the problem is the wind farm would be too close to the Minot Air Force Base. And she said that sets up the conflict with state law.

"There doesn't appear to be a lot of flexibility, the way the state law is written, for permitting a facility that can't have light mitigating technology," Fedorchak said.

Fedorchak said there’s no “wriggle room” for wind farms permitted after June 2016. But she said the company proposing the Ruso facility will be offering  its perspectives on the state law – so the PSC will be holding a work session or informal hearing on the issue.