Energy company plans to measure wind as step toward future wind farm
An energy company hopes to revive plans for a wind farm once proposed in northwestern North Dakota.
Tom VonBische, representing Nextera Energy Resources, told the Ward County Commission Tuesday that the company is considering a 300-megawatt wind farm, consisting of about 150 turbines. The location is the former Hartland wind farm area that had proposed to encompass part of Ward, Mountrail and Burke counties.
Nextera is proposing to place wind measurement towers in Ward County in Carbondale, Ree and Passport townships, located in the gooseneck. It is proposing to place SODAR devices in Carbondale, Ree and Berthold townships.
SODAR devices measure sound deflection to determine the strength of wind at different elevations. The trailer-mounted devices are portable and give better readings than the tower equipment, VonBische said. The devices emit a chirp every six seconds. They are to be located at least 1,200 feet from dwellings.
“We measure wind in any area for at least a year before we are satisfied that’s a good resource for us,” VonBische said. “This is an early-stage project that still needs to go through the environmental review by us and go before the Public Service Commission.”
He said Hartland did not have an electricity buyer or an interconnection point to bring the energy online. These are critical elements that Nextera must address before any project can go forward, he said.
Nextera is the largest renewable energy company in North America, with 9,000 wind turbines as well as solar and nuclear operations. It operates 14 wind facilities in North Dakota, with turbines in Cavalier, LaMoure, Barnes, Griggs, Steele, Burleigh, Morton, Oliver, Stark and Hettinger counties.