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Residents, officials weigh in on possible wind energy project in Dickinson

Published: Aug. 11, 2021 at 6:08 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - A possible wind energy project in Stark County has some residents on edge.

The project would involve One Energy Enterprises installing wind turbines at Marathon Petroleum’s Renewable Diesel Facility in Dickinson.

At Patterson Lake Recreation area, you can see Marathon’s Petroleum Facility in the distance.

It’s the reason residents like Dean Burwick dislike the idea of wind turbines there.

“These chase wildlife away and it doesn’t look good for the scenery or anything else, so really it is definitely not the place to put wind turbines,” said Dean Burwick, Dickinson.

Besides taking away from the scenery and wildlife, Burwick says he and others are worried about the sound of the five turbines and possible health impacts. He says there’s a petition against the project with more than six hundred signatures and they hope to get more.

“We’re trying to get up to 1000 if not more and we believe we’re going to have that real easy,” said Burwick.

Stark County’s Planning and Zoning Director says the project application states One Energy would be the operator of the turbines. He says the contract with Marathon Petroleum would be to generate power for the Dickinson facility. This will be reviewed by the planning and zoning commission, who will then make their recommendation to the county commission.

“The turbines would be 426 feet, each of the turbines would generate 2.35 megawatts,” said Steve Josephson, Planning and Zoning Director.

One Energy’s CEO says they’ve talked to state environmental groups about the project and says there are no protected species located within three miles of the site. He says there will be little visual impact from the turbines and that it is one of the safest forms of electricity generation.

A Marathon Petroleum spokesperson says the turbines will help keep them competitive in an ever-changing renewable market.

“There’s a lot of rumors out there and some turbine models that have had problems in the past, these are not those turbines, the turbines we install are extremely quiet,” said Jereme Kent, One Energy.

“We do feel that we are a big part of Stark County’s economy, these wind turbines are going to be another 24 million dollar investment inside of Stark County,” said DeEll Jordre, Marathon Petroleum.

The next planning and zoning meeting where turbines will be discussed is on September 2nd at the Stark County Family and Ag Resource Campus.

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