The decision divided by North Dakota regulators highlights the continued debate on wind farms - Grand Forks Herald

The eight projects consisting of approximately 1,850 megawatts received an "advance determination of prudence" and are located in North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota and Iowa. The two in North Dakota are already under construction. The chairman of the Public Services Commission, Randy Christmann, was the only dissident vote in the three-member and republican panel. He blamed the requirements of Minnesota regulators and wind energy tax credits expired while noting that Xcel acknowledged that not all of the generation is needed at this time. "We should always prioritize the needs of the citizens of North Dakota by the arbitrary political preferences of the regulators of external jurisdictions," said Christmann. "As a buyer out of control Black Friday, the only justification for this huge parade of additional expenses is that the price is correct." Commissioner Julie Fedorchak said that Xcel's request was "part of the complete transformation that is taking place in our country's electricity grid" with a shift towards more renewable resources. PSC staff estimated that North Dakota customers could save $ 84 million from projects, according to commissioner Brian Kroshus. The vote of the PSC came to the heels of the vote on Wednesday night of the Burleigh county planning commission and zoning to deny a permit for a wind farm in southeastern Bismarck. More than 500 people attended the event at the Bismarck Event Center, informed the Bismarck Tribune. During the legislative session of 2017, the legislators of North Dakota considered, but finally they rejected a moratoria of two years on new wind projects. North Dakota houses almost 3,000 megawatts of wind power installed, 11th in most parts of the country, according to the American Wind Energy Association. Kroshus said wind farms are drawing public concerns as they become more ubiquitous. "I do not think there is any doubt that, in all likelihood, it will be more challenging to build wind farms because the public is asking more questions," he said. Dave Sederquist, a senior regulatory consultant for Xcel, said that wind projects will continue to be built in the region if the costs remain low. "And again, the issue that North Dakota has to decide is that it wants to benefit from economic construction activity and have projects located in the state," he said in an email. "These projects will be located somewhere in the region." Leave a comment

Send a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.