Library from North Dakota
No one could deny the addition of jobs wasn't a positive. However, residents were able to voice their concerns on a number of other issues, including the noise of the blades, the aesthetic of the towers, the damage to the soil from the concrete foundations, the impact on wildlife and the increase in electric costs, among other things.
The Hettinger County Commission approved the proposed wind farm on April 8. Now the weight of the decision rests on the PSC. The first phase of the project had much opposition along with proponent comments at a March PSC hearing.
A work session followed the special meeting as the PSC continued discussing the 15-hour meeting so they could move closer to reaching a conclusion as to whether the proposed wind farm is in compliance with laws and regulations. The public has 10 days to make comment or cross-examine new exhibits admitted to the record Friday.
The first wind farm hasn’t yet been built – but the developers of the Brady wind farm in Stark and Hettinger counties have proposed a second wind farm for that same area. ...The North Dakota Public Service Commission is requiring the developer to submit the proposed locations for the wind turbines at least 30 days before the public hearing.
Brady Wind II is a separate project and a separate power-purchase agreement than the Brady Wind I project in southern Stark County. The state Public Service Commission heard 15 hours of testimony March 30 regarding that project and may not make its final decision to either approve or deny it until late May. Combined, the two phases of the Brady Wind Energy Center would put 159 turbines generating about 300 megawatts of power in a rural area.
Commissioner Brian Kalk says during his 8 years on the PSC he's never seen interest in a wind farm project like he saw during Wednesday's meeting ..."for a long time nobody really talked about the negatives of wind farms, but we are seeing a lot more organized opposition to the wind farms.
More than 150 people gathered before 8 a.m. Wednesday at Dickinson City Hall prepared for a long discussion about the proposed 87-turbine Brady Wind Energy Center in southern Stark County in southwest North Dakota.
The much-anticipated hearing comes six days after a district judge dismissed an injunction filed by a local citizen group against the county’s commissioners and planning and zoning board, which approved the permits for the 87-turbine wind farm in December, as well as the company aiming to build it.
EDF Renewable Energy (EDF RE), has lost another battle over its 150-MW Merricourt wind project in North Dakota after the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) last week confirmed termination of the project's grid contract.
"Of the 40 landowners who agreed to have turbines, half are residents and half are absentee owners,” said Reichert, adding that the group is holding out for deeper setbacks, so turbines would have to be located 2,000 feet from a property line, not from a residence. “Otherwise, that residence is being used to make up the setback and we think that’s easement trespass,” Reichert said.
I am ashamed of how our county has not protected these people. According to our county ordinances, a wind turbine can be placed within 2,000 feet of a home! Not a property line, but that close to your front door! ...It’s not only absurd, it’s criminal.
The hearing on the wind farm is now scheduled for 8 a.m. March 30 at Dickinson City Hall, while a hearing on the transmission line will be held at 5 p.m. that same day. The 87-turbine, 150-megawatt wind farm would stretch across the south side of the county between Dickinson and New England.
In its petition to intervene filed on Feb. 12, the citizen group claims that details in an application submitted to the state for a certificate of site compatibility by the wind farm’s parent company, NextEra Energy Resources, does not comply with either North Dakota law or Stark County ordinances.
“It’s [the petition] not designed to stop the wind farm,” Wert said. “It’s just designed to protect the people that don’t want one really close to their place of residence.” The way the ordinance is set up, a person could have their house adjacent to the property line.
Commissioners say the choice for green energy was one of the most difficult decisions they've made. No matter what was decided on the wind farm, commissioners say one group would have left unhappy.
The Stark County Commission voted unanimously to stop accepting applications for wind farm conditional-use permits for a period of two years at a regular meeting Tuesday at Stark County Courthouse. The move comes after the commission approved the 87-turbine Brady Wind Energy Center
A muffled groan could be heard from members of the audience as Stark County Commissioner Jay Elkin voted “aye,” the third and deciding vote that approved a conditional-use permit for a wind farm to be erected in southern Stark County. Both the Stark County Commission and Planning and Zoning Board convened at respective special and regular meetings Tuesday morning at Stark County Courthouse to vote on the Brady Wind Energy Center proposed by Florida-based NextEra Energy Resources.
The project originally had been located 2 miles north of Tioga. It was moved to 4 miles away after city officials voiced concerns about the future growth of the city to the north being impacted by a wind farm that close. Tioga City Commission President Drake McClelland said he appreciated the project being moved further north but expressed concern it could still impact future city growth to the north, which is where single-family housing would work best.
Rolette Power was first informed of bald eagles in the area in 2013 and initially made “a good effort” to work with the FWS to address the issue. But [the service] hasn’t heard from them since December 2014 and they haven’t provided an eagle use study, which the service recommends should take two years to determine where the eagles spend their time.
Most know North Dakota as an oil-producing state, becoming the second leading oil-producing state behind Texas because of the Bakken oil boom. Taking back seat to oil, though, is another energy-producing boom, wind farms.