North Dakota PSC Green-Lights 298 MW NextEra Project

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The North Dakota Public Service Commission (PSC) has approved a siting permit for the Emmons-Logan Wind Energy Center and an associated transmission line.

The permit is for Emmons-Logan Wind LLC, a wholly owned, indirect subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources, to construct and operate the facility. The project area will encompass approximately 28,097 acres located five miles northeast of Linto.

The wind farm will have a capacity of approximately 298.1 MW and will consist of up to 123 turbines and associated facilities. The project will also include a 6.85-mile long, 230 kV transmission line in Emmons County. The line will connect the wind project to the existing 230 kV Heskett-Wishek transmission line.

The total cost of the wind project is estimated at $415 million, and the total cost of the transmission line is estimated at $20 million. Emmons-Logan Wind has entered into a 25-year power purchase agreement with Great River Energy for the full output of energy produced by the project.

“This project has extremely strong support from community members, leaders and the landowners in this area. Many locals attended the hearing and spoke in favor of this wind farm,” says commissioner Julie Fedorchak, who holds the electric transmission siting portfolio. “The company intends to use a variety of tools to mitigate impacts, including avoiding sensitive areas, using setbacks from homes and properties, and using light mitigation technology.”

The project will incorporate an Aircraft Detection Lighting System in accordance with Federal Aviation Administration requirements and North Dakota laws. This system will reduce the visual impact of blinking lights on wind turbines. The lighting system detects when aircraft are in the area and turns on only when needed. The company will also be required to file a decommissioning plan, including financial assurances.

“The project meets necessary siting criteria, including a key component, which is local zoning approval,” notes Brian Kroshus, commission chairman. “Through the course of the proceeding, testimony from community representatives including school officials, first responders and numerous citizens indicate strong, overall support for the project.”

The PSC notes that North Dakota currently has approximately 3,152 MW of wind capacity in service.

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