N. DAKOTA GREENLIGHTS NEARLY 300 MW OF WIND
Regulators approve 2 ND wind projects
Dale Wetzel, August 12, 2009 (AP via Forbes)
"Newly approved projects should push North Dakota's wind energy generating capacity to more than 1,000 megawatts, state regulators say. When the decade began, the state had no commercial wind power.
"North Dakota's Public Service Commission…approved construction of two wind developments that, when completed, will be capable of generating almost 300 megawatts of electricity - enough to satisfy a year's normal power demand for 240,000 homes."
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"Basin Electric Power Cooperative, of Bismarck, intends to build a 115-megawatt wind farm in Ward County in northwestern North Dakota…In southeastern North Dakota, a subsidiary of… NextEra Energy Resources, plans to construct a 175-megawatt project in Dickey County…
"The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Minot Air Force Base became involved in the Ward County project…[because] Basin Electric's wind farm is within the normal migratory route of the whooping crane, an endangered species protected by federal law, and its territory includes a number of nuclear missile sites controlled by the Minot base…The Fish and Wildlife Service praised Basin's efforts to minimize the development's impact on whooping cranes…"
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"… North Dakota now has turbines capable of generating a peak amount of 713 megawatts of electricity…Basin's project will require 77 wind turbines… the NextEra subsidiary, Rough Rider Wind I LLC, expects to put up 116 towers…Both projects are expected to be completed by early next year.
"In recent years, North Dakota lawmakers have approved tax incentives for wind projects, and federal tax breaks have helped to spur development…[because]…North Dakota [has] the nation's greatest wind energy potential, although the state ranks only 13th in wind power output. Texas is No. 1, with more than 8,300 megawatts of wind power generation capacity."