LINTON, N.D. - UPDATE: The Burleigh County Commission has decided to deny 30 permits for wind turbines for the Burleigh-Emmons Wind Project.
ORIGINAL STORY:A public hearing on a new wind farm in Logan and Emmons Counties is over after seven hours of testimony. The hearing started at 10 a.m. Friday morning. Public service commissioners listened to a proposal from NextEra Energy for more than 100 turbines and a transmission line.
Representatives from Next Era Energy took to the podium first, going over specifics of the Logan-Emmons Wind Project. For more than two hours they talked about the plans for up to 123 turbines, across 64,000 acres northeast of Linton. Some of the turbines could reach about 440 feet. Then, it was the public's turn to comment.
“I will not be getting any towers on my land, but I am still very much support of the Logan-Emmons wind power project,” August Werner said.
“Our county, we have very outdated zoning, permitting, we don’t have nothing up to date, no regulations,” Grant Schiermeister said. “It was just the wild west for them to come in and roll over us.”
NextEra estimates the economic benefits to be in the millions for landowners, schools and counties.
“I think the beauty of the land takes precedent over the dollar amount that we're proposed to get,” Bruce Doolittle said.
“I think it's just going to be an overall boost to the community as well as to my school,” Chris Weigel said. “That’s the biggest thing is for my school because I want my kids to be able to graduate where I graduated from.”
NextEra also proposed an almost seven-mile-long transmission line to connect the project to the Heskett-Wishek transmission line.
If approved, NextEra plans to start construction in the spring, and be operating the turbines by next December.