Library from North Dakota
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.
A transmission company that wants to take North Dakota's wind energy to Eastern markets says its plan hinges on a federal change in how transmission facilities are paid for. Representatives of ITC Holdings in Novi, Mich., joined officials with Denali Energy, a company involved in the proposed Hartland Wind Farm northwest of Minot, at a meeting in Minot with landowners Wednesday.
The Ashtabula Wind Farm becomes one of the largest in the state with 131 turbines with a combined electrical generating capacity of 196.5 megawatts. The farm is owned by NextEra, a division of Florida Power and Light, with the electricity generated purchased by Otter Tail Power and Minnkota Power Cooperative. "We have an ownership share of 48 megawatts or about 32 of the 1.5-megawatt turbines," said Chris King, director of public relations for Otter Tail.
Montana-Dakota Utilities Co. and Otter Tail Power Co. estimate the current rules could drive up their customers' monthly bills by 18 percent to 30 percent annually. If the problem is not remedied, it could undermine public backing for wind power development in North Dakota, Public Service Commissioner Tony Clark said. The state has more than 700 megawatts of wind generation capacity, with more than 3,000 megawatts of projects planned.
A wind farm mishap has technicians trying to figure out what happened. A blade on one of the giant towers near Wilton somehow bent in half on Sunday morning.
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.
The Bismarck Planning and Zoning Commission this week tabled action for a draft wind turbine ordinance in city limits and its extra-territorial zone. City planner Gregg Greenquist, tasked with creating the ordinance with a committee, said the new draft was conservative in terms of sound levels and aesthetics. He expects as technology evolved, it would be amended.
Excuse me if I'm not quite as excited about a cap and trade tax on my electricity as wind enthusiast Joe Richardson is. I believe I'll side with the North Dakota Legislature and the Industrial Commission, who want to see hard-and-fast numbers about what the true cost of a cap and trade tax is to the North Dakota economy.
Energy companies discovered long ago that the abundant wind in North Dakota could be harvested to produce electricity. Now, many homeowners in Bismarck are trying to get in on the action, too. That`s why the city held a meeting Wednesday evening on a proposed wind turbine ordinance.
It`s not as strong as some North Dakota House members would like it. But representatives have approved a new set of rules that wind developers have to follow when negotiating land-use leases with property owners.
An energy developer has silenced an attorney who supports a ban on confidentiality agreements in wind leases by complaining to the Nevada utility that employs her, the lawyer's mother says. ...In its present form, the legislation would bar wind companies from requiring landowners to keep silent about the details of their contracts with wind developers.
Wind tower maker DMI Industries Inc., says it has cut 100 more workers due to declining demand from customers. DMI spokeswoman Belinda Forknell said Tuesday that the latest cuts, along with 60 cuts made in January, leave about 200 people working at the West Fargo plant.
The howling prairie gales that blow almost continually across this flat and empty state could, it has been estimated, light up a quarter of America. If there was one industry whose bright future looked assured, it was green energy, and particularly wind, which is widely regarded as the most promising alternative to fossil fuels. However, just as its fortunes soared last year, so they are on the wane now.
A British consultancy has been hired to prospect for European companies willing to build wind turbines or supply parts for them in North Dakota, a state official says. The seven-month, $28,000 contract with Deyton Bell Ltd., of Cambridge, England, is intended to develop business leads for North Dakota officials to follow up, said Shane Goettle, director of the state Department of Commerce.
The subcommittee of the Stutsman County Zoning and Planning Commission has completed its work on a proposed zoning ordinance concerning commercial wind farms in the county. Now the debate moves on to the full zoning and planning commission ..."The two big items for the full board to make a decision on are the fees and the setbacks," said Noel Johnson, Stutsman County chief operating officer and a zoning administrator.
Stutsman County officials should not be cowed by a wind developer whose business model condones theft of wind rights or be misled by a state legislator. They are to be commended for trying to protect landowner rights and safeguard the reputation of a growing and beneficial wind industry. If only our Dickey County Commission, the North Dakota Public Service Commission and the Legislative Assembly would show similar leadership.
The Stutsman County Commission heard information from one of the leading wind farm developers in the nation during its regular meeting Tuesday. ...A principle point of contention in the proposed Stutsman County wind zoning ordinance is a requirement that all wind turbines be set back a distance of five rotor diameters from property lines unless neighboring property owners have signed waivers.
The subcommittee of the Stutsman County Planning and Zoning Commission continued work on a zoning ordinance to regulate commercial wind farms in the county Thursday. In what was intended to be the final meeting of the subcommittee, it made changes regarding safety issues concerning meteorological towers, placed a decibel limit on the noise generated by the turbine, added a cap on the site application fee, removed expiration dates for site authority and defined road testing.
A Colorado company with backers in Britain has leased more than 5,000 acres in northwestern North Dakota to mine salt and store wind. Denver-based Dakota Salts LLC says it wants to use voids created by mining in Burke County to store compressed air to be sold to wind farms to generate electricity. The mining caverns also could store carbon dioxide from North Dakota's coal-burning power plants or natural gas from the state's oil fields, the company said.
Members of a subcommittee of the Stutsman County Zoning Board took another step toward creating the first county wind farm zoning ordinance in North Dakota. The group met Thursday and discussed definitions and policies of the planned ordinance. "The county is not looking to manage locations as far as tower to tower," said Fritz Fremgen, Stutsman County state's attorney. "We are looking to create a setback between occupied structures and property boundaries."