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North Dakota Wind Developer Demands More Land for Turbines in an FAA Restricted Area

Where does the wind go: Adams Co. turbines may need more land

RenewablesBiz — June 22, 2014

“Wild is the wind,” jazz artist Nina Simone sang.
Indeed, building infrastructure around free-flowing wind for its energy potential can be just as unpredictable.

A $350 million wind turbine farm near Hettinger may expand to a larger area to generate electricity more efficiently, pending approval from state officials.

The North Dakota Public Service Commission will meet Wednesday in Bismarck to hear an energy company’s plan to move turbines to encompass land previously restricted by the federal government.

Last year, the Federal Aviation Administration would not allow Thunder Spirit Wind, LLC , to build turbines on certain stretches of land in Adams County’s Duck Creek and Holt townships.

The FAA said that turbines would pose danger to planes coming through the area, said PSC public utility analyst Jerry Lein .

Because of this, Thunder Spirit restricted its 43-turbine wind farm plan to a smaller space, according to public documents.

In December, the government lifted a ban on construction on the area in question, which was based on unpublished plans for a future airport in Hettinger , according to Thunder Spirit,

Now that the FAA has given the go-ahead, Thunder Spirit selected larger turbines, which may need bigger expanses of land for maximum energy potential, PSC member Brian Kalk said.

“Getting the layout right will be a stepping stone to more wind power in the region,” Kalk said.

Representatives from Thunder Spirit and Tetra Tech, which has also worked on the wind farm project, did not return calls for comment as of press time.  Continue reading here….

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