Articles filed under Impact on People from North Dakota
Public Service Commissioner Julie Fedorchak, a Republican, said she has cautioned developers that North Dakota isn’t anti-wind, but she said regulators are serious about following the siting law. The three-member PSC rejected NextEra Energy Resources' plans for a wind farm in Burke County in June in part because it would have affected wetlands, which their rules protect from energy development.
There were many other concerns that commissioners also dealt with during the 9-hour hearing for northwestern North Dakota’s first proposed wind farm. A big one for Commissioner Brian P. Kalk, which he announced at the beginning of the hearing, is that the wind farm sits right in the middle of a whooping crane flyway. “This is not the first,” he said, “and it’s something we were able to work through, but I will be interested to see what you have planned for that.”
The Williams County Planning and Zoning Commission recommended the Williams County Commission deny the applicant’s request for a conditional use permit on agricultural land and a separate variance request from setback requirements. Meanwhile, the applicant must also get approval from the North Dakota Public Service Commission before moving forward.
Krank said he has spent weeks traveling to various wind towers throughout the state. He believes the noise levels towers generate have become a major concern. “Noise is definitely a problem,” he said. “You can hear the whooshing sound of propellers from several thousand feet away.” But even more troubling than noise levels, Krank said, was the decrease in land value as a result of wind farms.
The purpose of the presentation and discussion was only to help the Tioga commission determine whether to recommend the county approve the permit for meteorological towers. Even this small step has generated an intense debate over property rights, regional energy needs, and desires to maintain North Dakota’s idyllic scenery.
The Adams County Planning and Zoning Commission Monday tabled a decision on an application for a 75-tower wind farm in Duck Creek Township. The panel will consult with its attorney about legal issues raised and whether Thunder Spirit Wind's application complies with the county's land use plan.
Payments for landowners who live near wind projects could prevent a backlash from rural North Dakota residents who believe they've been treated unfairly, the Democratic candidate for the state Public Service Commission said Monday. The PSC and the North Dakota Legislature have not been attentive to the rights of such landowners.
You could say Dennis and Cathryn Stillings were blown away about the possibility of moving to the expected "great silence" of a farmstead on the Peak Road 12 miles from Valley City in the northeast quadrant of Barnes County.
Concerns about health have some Crofte Township residents opposed to a nearby wind farm. NextEra Energy proposed last fall to build five wind turbines within the township. Some adjacent landowners and nearby neighbors are concerned about the nearness of the towers to their homes. "Our primary concern is health and lack of sleep," Crofte Township resident Geralyn Laurie said.
John Spitzer enjoys the beauty of his land in the spring: green grass, clear blue sky and a spinning wind turbine on the horizon. "I think they're beautiful," the Wilton farmer said. But some people in the Baldwin area think the turbines are an eyesore that could devalue adjacent property and cause health complications. "We're going to lose our very precious spaces," Vernon Spitzer said.
State regulators declined to reopen a debate over the location of four new wind turbines in east-central North Dakota, saying they had already considered a neighboring landowner's arguments that they should be moved. The state Public Service Commission on Monday agreed to ask the project's developer, NextEra Energy Resources, if it would be practical ...in moving the turbines to alternative locations nearby.
State regulators say they won't hold another hearing to debate the siting of a wind farm in east-central North Dakota. The Public Service Commission says it will ask the wind project's developer to move four of the project's 80 wind turbines to satisfy complaints from a nearby landowner.
Neighbors protesting turbine locations for a wind farm near Luverne, N.D., are upset that work has begun while requests for reconsideration are pending before state regulators. ...Commissioners on Monday will discuss the requests for reconsideration by several neighboring landowners as well as Sen. Tim Mathern, D-Fargo.
A rural Barnes County couple had planned to enjoy retirement by moving back to North Dakota. But Dennis and Cathryn Stillings are finding a changed landscape even noisy. As WDAY 6 Reporter Kevin Wallevand tells us, the prairie has a different look and sound. ...Dennis Stillings and his wife Cathryn moved back to their native North Dakota two years ago. ..."We would never do this again; no if we had known [about the turbines] we would not have looked at the property."
Wind farms are rapidly expanding across the Midwest, and a growing number of residents who live near the wind turbines are complaining about noise. ...Leon Steinberg is CEO of Minneapolis-based National Wind. He said most wind farm developers already use setbacks that exceed state regulations. "I don't think the industry believes it's a significant problem," Steinberg said. "But I believe the industry is concerned with the perception that it may be a problem."
The wind filling the sails of alternative energy might slacken if regulators fail to address the concerns of wind farm neighbors. The new industry, which is supposed to be one of the jewels in the renewable energy crown, will lose its appeal rapidly if the rush to build wind farms blows out traditional rural living values. The signs should concern the industry and regulatory agencies.
On Thursday, Takushi Harima of the Tokyo Broadcasting System interviewed Stillings, who lives near NextEra Energy Resources' wind farm about 15 miles northeast of Valley City. Harima asked Stillings what the view was like, whether he has noticed adverse health effects and about noise.
Complaints about noise and possible health effects from wind turbines arose at a recent public hearing concerning a proposed 157-megawatt wind farm near Luverne, N.D., in Griggs and Steele counties. The Stillingses and several other rural residents who live adjacent to nearby wind farms testified that they are bothered by turbines, even though they comply with the North Dakota Public Service Commission's setback requirement.
A Minnesota Department of Health analysis of possible health effects from wind turbines concludes that annoyance and diminished quality of life are the most frequent complaints from nearby residents. The "white paper," a review of available scientific research, notes that people vary greatly in their sensitivity to noise, with penetrating, low-frequency sounds posing the most problems.
Now the Public Service Commission requires at least 1,400 feet between a tower and an occupied dwelling. It's meant to protect the property owner from noise and shadows, and a possible tower collapse. Commission President Kevin Cramer says the minimum distance is not formally spelled out in state rules.