Library from North Dakota
The North Dakota Public Service Commission heard testimony in Minot Monday on a proposed wind farm near the town of Ruso.
Morgan Berry testified first in the hearing- laying out his company’s plans for the quarter-billion dollar project. He said close to 200 skilled workers would be hired to do the construction over about one year. And he said the company would continue to adjust the project based on any valid concerns. Although one potential problem remains unresolved. The Air Force sent a letter just this month warning of…(Zachary Pelham, PSC Attorney) “”Adverse impacts on helicopter flight missions, missile launch operations, and weather radar NexRad operations conducted by the US Air Force.”
This was a very large project, covering some 23,000 acres with 76 wind turbines, and both the North Dakota Game & Fish Department and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service were critical of it for its potential impacts on wildlife. Birds, in particular. The three-member, all-Republican commission rejected the permit for the project because they didn’t feel NextEra had demonstrated that they’d do enough to mitigate wildlife impacts.
The North Dakota PSC denied a permit for Nextera to construct and operate the 200 megawatt (76 turbine) Burke Wind Energy facility proposed for Burke County, ND. An excerpt of the PSC's decision is provided below. The full order denying the permit and letters from the US Fish and Wildlife Service and ND Game and Fish can be downloaded from this page.
Regulatory filings showed federal and state agencies charged with protecting wildlife have long been concerned with the proposed wind farm's location. A North Dakota Game and Fish Department official said upon first hearing about the project in 2016, agency staff indicated the developer "could not have picked a worse spot in the state."
A controversial wind farm proposal is moving after a new developer purchased the project. A spokesperson for NextEra Energy Resources said the company intends for the 70-turbine project to be in Emmons and/or Logan counties ...No exact location has yet been determined for the project, however.
"We've done something in the state of North Dakota that's never been done before, as far as the consolidation of people the project itself with all the strikes against it also hurt it as well." Said Buntrock. PNE later filed a suit claiming some of the testimony was incorrect or misleading and could have swayed the commission's vote. But in a surprising move, the suit was dropped without reason in late April
Magrum questioned why Brandenburg, a wind energy advocate, was speaking at an Emmons County hearing when he lives in LaMoure County. Both lawmakers represent District 28, which covers a wide area of south-central North Dakota, including all of Emmons County and part of LaMoure County. "I just have a problem with legislators being lobbyists," Magrum said. "He wasn't representing county residents. That was a meeting for residents of the county."
A family near the North and South Dakota border says a recent incident involving a helicopter caused a stampede on their land, and they want justice.
Ray Ziegler, director of the Burleigh County Building/Planning/Zoning Department, said county officials received word that the court appeal was dismissed, but did not have any other information. NextEra would be required to submit a new application for the project, Ziegler said.
Turbines across North Dakota shut down at times in the last week of January due to some of the coldest temperatures the area had seen since the mid-1990s. Wind power levels dropped significantly, more than experts anticipated. Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., and others seized on the mid-winter lapse in wind power to criticize the Green New Deal, a policy proposal to reduce carbon emissions and address climate change. Cramer called the proposal "a fantasy." ...“What it did in my mind is it exposed a real vulnerability that we’ve often talked about over the years … of intermittent electric generation,” he said of the turbines shutting down.
The North Dakota Public Service Commission issued a siting permit on Wednesday for the Emmons-Logan Wind Energy Center, granting approval for as many as 123 wind turbines northeast of Linton. The project by NextEra Energy Resources will have a capacity of about 298 megawatts and will include a 6.85-mile transmission line in Emmons County.
Pure New Energy USA, the company proposing to develop the controversial Burleigh-Emmons Wind Farm, filed an appeal to the South Central Judicial District Court on Friday, challenging the Burleigh County Commission’s recent decision to deny 30 special use permits for the project. According to the notice of appeal, PNE argues it “met any and all requirements for issuance of the subject permits and the board should not have denied its applications.”
Prior to the vote, the commission considered sending the matter back to planning and zoning, as requested by Pure New Energy USA ...“I think this has gone on long enough … I just don’t feel comfortable sending it back and creating more workload for our people,” said Commissioner Kathleen Jones, who made the motion to deny permits for the project.
The company is asking for the opportunity to submit expert testimony and other evidence to respond to what PNE calls “inaccurate, false and/or misleading information” presented during the four-hour public hearing that attracted more than 500 people.
“We should always prioritize the needs of North Dakota citizens over arbitrary political preferences of regulators from outside jurisdictions. Like an out-of-control Black Friday shopper, the only justification for this massive additional spending spree is that the price is right" -- Randy Christmann, Public Service Commission Chairman
The Burleigh County Planning and Zoning Commission voted 5-3 late Wednesday to deny a permit for the proposed Burleigh-Emmons Wind Farm, following a four-hour meeting with passionate testimony from both sides. More than 500 citizens attended the rescheduled public hearing, with more than half wearing a shade of red, representing opposition to the project.
Do rural Americans have a say in what they see outside their dining-room windows, even if that view extends miles beyond their property lines? It’s a more profound debate than it might seem, having as much to do with the future of farming communities and land values as it does with aesthetics. And for the wind industry, it poses a sharp challenge. As turbines get ever bigger and more visible as they spread across rural areas, they become more controversial, threatening the industry’s growth.
The North Dakota Public Service Commission will hold a public hearing in Linton on Friday, Dec. 7, regarding a proposal to construct a wind farm and associated electric transmission line in Emmons and Logan counties. NextEra Energy Resources has submitted applications for permits for the Emmons-Logan Wind Energy Center, capacity of approximately 298.1 megawatts and up to 123 wind turbines.
More than 150 citizens filled three rooms of the venue Wednesday night during a meeting that was initially delayed 45 minutes while commissioners tried to figure out how to properly accommodate all the people who showed up to make their voices heard on the project. After two failed attempts at broadcasting the meeting, which was held in the Tom Baker Meeting Room with police presence, into the two overflow rooms, commissioners made the decision to reschedule the public hearing.