Articles filed under General from North Dakota
Whooping cranes are endangered while the piping plover is considered a threatened species. The incidental take permits would be issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service and exempt the wind farm operators from criminal prosecution if endangered or threatened species were killed by the turbines.
Most of the questions about a wind farm proposed to surround Taylor came from those who had little power over it: residents in the town who don’t own the land with turbines on it. Nevertheless, the 87 turbines will be seen from the town — currently with few viewscape obstructions — from virtually every angle.
Commissioners were divided on the issue but voted 3-2 to make no recommendation on a proposal to put up meteorological towers in the area where Tradewind Energy wants to develop a windfarm.
The Williams County Planning and Zoning Commission tabled the company’s request for a conditional use permit for some testing towers after several landowners expressed concerns. The commission asked for input from the City of Tioga before making a recommendation to the county commission for approval of the permit. ...The Tioga Airport Board has voted against the project, according to President Chris Norgaard, due to concerns the project may affect future airport approach routes used by pilots.
A North Dakota Public Service Commission public hearing in Ashley regarding a proposal for revisions to the Merricourt Wind Power Project has been rescheduled. The hearing will be held at 10 a.m. Jan. 22 at the Ashley City Hall, 113 1st St. NW, in Ashley. The hearing was originally scheduled to be held Monday.
A major concern of those opposing wind energy is their belief that landowners would have to pay to either remove the structures, which can involve millions of dollars, or to maintain them, even after their lifespan is complete and are no longer operational. Many also consider a decommissioned turbine site to be an eyesore and negatively affect the landowner’s property.
In a first for the state, the North Dakota Public Service Commission has required a wind farm owner to provide financial assurance that it can cover the future costs of reclaiming the site when the wind turbines reach the end of their lifespan.
Geronimo Energy plans to construct 100 turbines as part of the wind farm but has listed 127 potential locations. Courtenay Wind Farm’s planned production of 200 megawatts makes it the largest wind farm in North Dakota to be licensed as a single unit. Estimated cost of the project is $350 million.
The North Dakota Administrative Code provides that after the 10th year of operation of a wind turbine, the PSC “may” require the turbine’s owner or operator to secure a form of financial assurance” to cover anticipated decommissioning costs. Last September, the PSC sent notices requiring the owners of four wind projects to submit updated decommissioning plans within 30 days.
Kalk said Adams County approved the project with setbacks of 2,640 feet from occupied structures. “This is by far the most restrictive (setback)… the board has been involved in,” Kalk said. He said the PSC typically uses a 1,400-foot setback ...Kalk added that he’s in favor of letting the county determine what they think is appropriate.
Commissioner Brian Kalk said the PSC made its decision partly because the Adams County Planning and Zoning Commission hasn't decided if the project meets its comprehensive land use plan and also because Thunder Spirit Wind failed to file a map showing the location of all 75 turbines in the time required by law.
"I was one of the last ones (to agree), but the neighbors are going to take it and it'll be everywhere around here anyway," Christman said. The closest one will be a half-mile from his house. He expects to hear the loud "whooshing" sounds the blades make when they spin. "I live here because I love the peace and quiet and privacy. This is the house I grew up in," Christman said.
U.S. District Judge Michael Davis dismissed a lawsuit filed by the developer of the 100-turbine Merricourt project, which remains unbuilt amid lingering fears that whooping cranes and piping plovers will be slashed to death by its turbine blades.
Vaux said the city is in contact with Dallas-based Trinity Industries, which recently purchased DMI from Otter Tail Corp., but he said Trinity officials are "holding their plans for this facility very close to the vest and have assured us they will let us know what those plans are when the time is appropriate."
LM Wind Power, one of Grand Forks' largest manufacturers, announced Tuesday that it would lay off more than half of its workforce. The company cited a downturn in the wind power industry, largely connected to the failure of Congress to renew production tax credits. Local officials say they're assured LM isn't closing the plant here.
NextEra energy needed approval for a wind farm. BNI Coal was facing penalties for environmental rules. The Arthur Companies needed a license for a grain elevator. All of them went before the North Dakota Public Service Commission to state their cases.
More than 800 jobs directly involving wind-energy manufacturing in North Dakota are at stake as an important tax incentive for renewable energy is set to expire at year's end.
The state, often rated as having the greatest wind potential in the nation, now has about 1,400 megawatts of total wind capacity. ...But notices of intent for new wind farms have stalled since last fall and development has slowed in recent months.
Nearly two months of negotiations failed to settle a lawsuit against Xcel Energy over a stalled $400 million North Dakota wind farm, Xcel Energy said Tuesday, March 20. Now Xcel is preparing for a trial, but the wind farm developer, enXco Development Corp., says it's still open to talks.
The state's wind energy development pace is accelerating because of next year's possible loss of a federal tax break for wind energy, and a requirement in neighboring Minnesota that utilities supply 25 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2025.