BISMARCK, N.D. - We rely on energy to heat our homes, drive our cars, and keep the lights on. But no matter the source of that power, it can be controversial to someone. There was an outcry on the Standing Rock Reservation over the placement of the controversial Dakota Access Oil Pipeline because of environmental concerns.
And now, some people are complaining about what's considered to be a clean and renewable form of energy. Pure New Energy is looking at putting in 71 wind turbines across more than 15,000 acres in Burleigh and Emmons Counties. Within the last week, signs are starting to pop up against the project. And some say, it's dividing the community.
A project to install dozens on wind turbines across the landscape of southeastern Burleigh County has been in the works for years. David Day lives in Morton Township, where some of the turbines would go, including some on his land. He's in favor because it'll offer his family financial stability, and give funds to the county.
“The money that will be raised for the school district, which is an immense amount of money, the county gets a big check, the county, the fire department, the ambulance crew, the townships get a lot of money,” Day said. “It’s an economic gain for the whole community.”
But, not all are in favor. These signs are scattered around the area. And, others are commenting on social media, saying they don't want the turbines in their community. Day says he should be able to do what he wants on his land.
“I believe that I should be able to put it on my land if I so desire,” Day said.
Although the permitting process should go through the township, Burleigh County Commissioners were asked to take on the issue because of a conflict of interest with the township leaders.
We knocked on many doors of landowners with the signs in their yards, but were unable to connect with any of them. There will be a public hearing on the special permit for the turbines at next Wednesday's Burleigh County Planning and Zoning Meeting. That starts at 5:15 p.m. at the City-County building in Bismarck.