Proposed Ruso wind farm goes before public hearing

The North Dakota Public Service Commission heard testimony in Minot Monday on a proposed wind farm near the town of Ruso.

The farm, operated by Ruso Wind Partners, LLC, would include between 60 and 63 turbines, and would have a capacity of up to 205 megawatts of power.

The farm would cover roughly 16,000 acres of land, and would cost between $250 and $280 million.

Dennis Pozarnsky and his wife traveled to Minot from Benedict to speak against the proposed wind farm in Ruso less than ten miles from his town.

“Why are we doing this? We have some of the best power sources in the world with our fossils, and our nuclear plants, and our gas plants,” said Pozarnsky.

Pozarnsky and his wife also had environmental concerns similar to those that influenced the Public Service Commissioners' decision to decline a siting permit for a wind farm in Burke county earlier this year.

However one Commissioner said these issues may not apply as much to the location near Ruso.

“This project the wildlife agencies haven't come out to that extent where they really in that project said this is the worst place in North Dakota for a wind farm,” said Commissioner Julie Fedorchak.

A spokesperson from Southern Energy, the parent company of Ruso Wind Partners who is building the farm, told us why her company thinks they should be allowed to move forward with the project.

“We always look to develop, own, and operate generating assets in areas that meet our business model and can provide clean, safe, reliable, and affordable wholesale energy for our customers,” said Leighton Burkett.

A variety of other issues came up at the hearing, from noise to the flicker of the turbine propeller's shadow, to construction of the turbines, and even if the farm would interfere with Air Force operations.

The Commissioners will now take all of this information into account as they make their decision.

The project would also include a 10-mile-long transmission line that would run from the wind farm in Ward County to a new substation in McHenry County.