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 approved is for Emmons-Logan Wind, LLC (a wholly owned, indirect subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources), to construct and operate the Emmons-Logan Wind Energy Center and an associated transmission line.
The wind farm will have a capacity of about 298.1 MW and will consist of up to 123 wind turbines and associated facilities. This includes access roads, underground electrical collection systems, collection substations, an operations and maintenance building, and meteorological evaluation towers. The project will also include a 6.85-mile long, 230-kilovolt (kV) transmission line in Emmons County. The line would connect the wind project to the existing 230 kV Heskett-Wishek transmission line.
“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,” said 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 aircrafts are in the area and turns on only when needed. When an aircraft is not detected, the lights are not on. 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,” said Commission Chairman Brian Kroshus. “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.”
North Dakota currently has approximately 3,152 MW of wind capacity in service. The Commission currently has several new proposed wind projects that have been submitted for permits. These projects include the Aurora Wind Project in Williams County (300 MW), the Burke Wind Project in Burke County (200 MW), and the Ruso Wind Project in Ward and McLean Counties (205 MW).