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wind power

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.

Three of six wind power projects in North Dakota permitted after June of 2018 that did not meet a December 31st deadline to have new turbine tower lighting systems installed now say they're in compliance.

They are Oliver Wind, and Brady Wind One and Two.

Those systems would use radar technology, to turn the lights on when an aircraft approaches. Some residents living in the vicinity of wind farms objected to the blinking red lights common to the towers.

Six wind farms have missed a December 31st deadline to install new “Aircraft Detection Lighting Systems” on their turbine towers, as required by state law..

Those wind farms were permitted after June of 2016. That new system replaces the blinking red lights or strobes on wind towers, and only light up when an aircraft is in the area, detected by radar.

"We all know that this technology has been talked about for a long time," Fedorchak said. "It's been promised to the people living near the wind farms."

Construction has begun on a 299 megawatt wind farm in Williams and Mountrail Counties.

The Aurora wind farm is expected to be up and running by the end of 2020. It’s being developed by Enel Green Power. The company is building it near its existing Lindahl wind farm, a 150 megawatt facility that began operating in 2017.

"We have had a good experience from the Lindahl project," said Enel senior project manager Georg Becker-Birck. "And there is continued strong interest from the area."

Becker-Birck said it is an area with a strong wind resource.

What to do with used wind turbine blades

Nov 12, 2019

As wind power companies look to upgrade their facilities, and as turbine blades start wearing out, there is a question: Where to dispose of the old blades?

North Dakota Public Service Commission chairman Brian Kroshus said there are roughly 1750 turbine blades in use right now in the state.

"If you add up the weight of the fiberglass material, in terms of the blades, it's just over 26 million tons of fiberglass waste," Kroshus said.

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

A Duluth-based energy company threw a party today (Tuesday) in Glen Ullin, to celebrate the impending opening of a new wind farm in Morton and Mercer counties.

The Glen Ullin Wind Center is to go on-line in October.

“It’s 106 megawatts," said Allete vice president for business development. "In addition to the 500 megawatts the company built at the Bison Wind Farm, that means nearly $1 billion of investment in the area.”                           

A wind farm that had been proposed for Morton Township in Burleigh County will now be built in Emmons and-or Logan counties.

The wind farm -- proposed by PNE Wind USA -- was the subject of some controversy. A number of township residents fought the wind farm, and siting was denied.

PNE Wind USA sold its interest in that ill-fated project to NextEra Energy.

MDU buys expansion of SW ND wind farm

Mar 2, 2018

Bismarck-based Montana Dakota Utilities is buying an expansion of a wind farm in southwestern North Dakota.

MDU already owns the Thunder Spirit Wind Farm – first phase. It’s a 107.5 megawatt farm with 43 turbines. Allete Clean Energy developed it, and is developing the second phase, which will add another 16 turbines, and produce another 48 megawatts.

MDU had a power purchase agreement with an option to buy it outright.

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.