ND commission approves wind farm project

BISMARCK (AP) — The North Dakota Public Service Commission has approved a wind farm project that would bring up to 123 turbines to the southern part of the state.
NextEra Energy Resources plans to build the Emmons-Logan Wind Energy Center on about 28,000 acres (11,300 hectares) northeast of Linton, The Bismarck Tribune reported. The wind farm will have a capacity of nearly 300 megawatts. North Dakota currently has about 3,150 megawatts of wind capacity.
Community members and landowners in the area support the project, Commissioner Julie Fedorchak said.
“Many locals attended the hearing and spoke in favor of this wind farm,” she said in a statement.
The project meets siting criteria, such as local zoning approval, which was a “key component” to approving the proposal, said Commission Chairman Brian Kroshus.
The project is expected to cost about $415 million, including the addition of access roads, underground electrical collection systems, collection substations, operations and maintenance building and meteorological evaluation towers.
A nearly 7-mile (11-kilometer) transmission line will be built in Emmons County to connect to the Heskett-Wishek transmission line. The cost of the line is an estimated $20 million.
Great River Energy has signed a 25-year power purchase agreement for the project’s full energy output.
The commission is considering several other proposed wind projects, including the Aurora Wind Project in Williams County, the Burke Wind Project in Burke County and the Ruso Wind Project in Ward and McLean counties.
The Burleigh County Commission denied Pure New Energy USA’s request for special use permits for a proposed 250-megawatt project in southern Burleigh County and northern Emmons County. PNE is appealing the decision.