North Dakota considers wind farm, transmission line

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The North Dakota Public Service Commission will hold a June 1 public hearing in Mandan on a proposal to construct the Oliver III Wind Project and associated electric transmission line in Oliver and Morton counties.

Oliver Wind III LLC, an indirect unit of NextEra Energy Resources, has submitted applications for permits for the Oliver III Wind Energy Center and an associated transmission line, the PSC said in a May 18 statement.

The wind farm will have a capacity of about 100 MW and will consist of up to 48 wind turbines and associated facilities. Associated facilities include access roads, electrical collection systems and cabling, a collection substation, an operations and maintenance building, meteorological towers and a construction laydown area. The project area encompasses about 21,878 acres in northeastern Morton County and southeastern Oliver County.

It is estimated the permanent structures will occupy approximately 50 acres during operation. All but one turbine will be located in Morton County. Total cost of the wind project is estimated at $153 million.

The project will also include a 4.5-mile-long, 230-kV transmission line and a five-acre switchyard that will be constructed at the northern end of the line.

The line will connect the planned wind farm to the electrical grid via a tap to an existing Minnkota Power Cooperative line located about 14 miles southeast of Center, N.D. Total cost of the transmission line is estimated at $11.4 million, the PSC said.

Oliver Wind III LLC on April 8 filed a notice of self-certification as an exempt wholesale generator with FERC.

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