Articles from North Dakota

Wind farm hopes to install light dimming system under extension

State regulators are giving a wind farm in southwestern North Dakota another year to install technology to mitigate the blinking red lights atop its turbines, with the hope that a new dimming system pans out. Montana-Dakota Utilities will have until the end of 2022 to equip its Thunder Spirit wind farm near Hettinger with technology so that the lights don't blink bright red all night long. The company asked for the extension because it's interested in a system known as Lighting Intensity Dimming Solution, which adjusts the intensity of the lights based on weather and visibility conditions. 
22 Feb 2021

Wind farms weigh in on technology to ease blinking red lights at night

Under state law, newer wind farms had to install technology by the start of 2020 to mitigate the lights so that they don't cause an eyesore by blinking bright red all night. The operators have put in radar-based systems meant to keep the lights off unless an aircraft flies in the vicinity. But members of the Public Service Commission, which pushed for the law, say they’ve noticed the lights seem to stay on more often than they had expected. ...The primary culprit seems to be birds, especially those flying south for winter.
18 Dec 2020

A ban on wind farms? These two North Dakota counties did it

A moratorium on wind-related projects in Mercer County has blocked the construction of a wind farm, making Mercer the second county in central North Dakota to enact anti-wind ordinances. BISMARCK — Ongoing tensions over the construction of a new wind farm in North Dakota coal country have come to a head with Mercer County, N.D., imposing a moratorium on all wind-related projects.
13 Jul 2020

PSC fines Xcel over wind farm missing lighting deadline

he North Dakota Public Service Commission has fined Xcel Energy $10,000 for failing to meet the deadline for complying with the state’s new law requiring light-mitigating technology atop wind turbines. The system at the new Foxtail wind farm in Dickey County became fully operational April 7, missing the state’s Dec. 31 deadline by several months. 
8 Jul 2020

Regulators approve wind farm in Burke County

“I continue to believe America is over-saturating our electric grid with intermittent energy at the expense of baseload energy,” said Commissioner Randy Christmann. “But this is a siting case that must be decided based on the law in North Dakota’s Siting Act, as written by the Legislature, and this project meets the requirements of the Siting Act.”
11 Jun 2020

Fines rack up for wind farms that failed to meet deadline for new lighting technology

The North Dakota Public Service Commission has approved another settlement with a wind farm developer that missed the deadline to comply with the state's new requirement for technology that stops the lights atop wind turbines from blinking all night long. Regulators at a Wednesday meeting said they would eventually like to get feedback from wind farm operators about how well the lighting systems are working.
29 Apr 2020

NextEra redesigns rejected wind project for do-over before North Dakota regulators

“Although greatly improved, not all the project’s potential impacts could be avoided,” Link continued, adding that the majority of the project area is still within the Northern Missouri Coteau where there is “a higher degree of displacement risk associated with the development in this landscape area, as compared to other areas within the state” because migratory birds like to stop there.
17 Apr 2020

Ruso Wind evaluates next steps after PSC denial

A proposed wind farm in Ward and McLean counties has been stopped by red lights. The North Dakota Public Service Commission Wednesday declined to approve a permit requested by Southern Power for its proposed 205-megawatt Ruso Wind Project. The company faced difficulties complying with a 2017 state law that addresses visual pollution by requiring technology on turbines to keep lights from constantly blinking red at night.
6 Mar 2020

PSC rejects permit for wind farm over lighting issues

State regulators rejected a permit Wednesday for a proposed wind farm in Ward and McLean counties that faced difficulties complying with a 2017 state law requiring new technology to stop turbine-topping lights from blinking bright red all night. The Public Service Commission, in a 1-2 vote, failed to approve Southern Power’s Ruso Wind project, though commissioners left open the option of reconsidering it down the road.
4 Mar 2020

'A unique set of circumstances' surrounds Ruso wind farm compliance with new lighting law

Mollie Smith, an attorney representing the project developer, presented a different interpretation, arguing that the law is ambiguous. The law requires that the technology be implemented consistent with FAA regulations, she said, adding that a conflict arises because the FAA has determined that Ruso Wind needs standard lighting, the kind that blinks all night long. She said the law does not say that the PSC should deny a permit if light mitigation technology is not installed. 
14 Feb 2020

Six wind farms miss deadline for new lighting systems

The law passed by the North Dakota Legislature does not allow the PSC to give these wind operators extra time to get the new systems put in. Fedorchak said the PSC is sending letters to the six wind farms – telling them they have to comply with the law. She said the companies have been a part of the discussions, and none of them had expressed any concerns with them deadline date.
4 Jan 2020

Port: I thought the wind industry didn't need subsidies any more?

The wind energy companies argue that the construction is being driven by the markets and demand. A more likely explanation is that there was a rush to build these projects in order to capitalize on a subsidy which was set to expire last year. Wind companies had to break ground on their projects before the end of the year to get in on it. I call it a bubble because that's what inevitably happens when the government creates artificial demand for something with a subsidy. We should build wind farms because they make sense for our energy grid, not to harvest tax dollars.
2 Jan 2020

https://www.windaction.org/posts?location=North+Dakota&type=Article
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