Proposal could yield new wind farm in Dickey County

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Farm Forum

Plans are in the works to build a wind farm in Dickey County, N.D., that would generate 150 megawatts of electricity, according to a news release from Xcel Energy.

The wind farm, which is still in the planning stages, would be developed by Foxtail Wind sometime between 2017 to 2020, the release states.

According to Dickey County Commission Chairman Thor Sand, the project would be in the far northwestern part of the county.

Dickey County is already home to Tatanka Wind Farm, which Thor said generates enough energy for county residents.

Tatanka Wind Farms includes 61 wind turbines in Dickey County and 59 wind turbines in McPherson County in South Dakota and sits on about 14,080 acres, according to the wind farm project’s website.

The proposed new wind farm would have 65 turbines and is one of four that Xcel Energy is proposing to build, according to the release.

“The projects, totaling 750 megawatts, will provide enough energy to power nearly 400,000 homes. They are part of the company’s plan to continue investing in renewable energy while still delivering cost-effective energy to customers,” the release says.

The other Xcel Energy wind farm proposals include two in Lincoln County and one in Freeborn County, all in Minnesota, according to the release.

Sand said Dickey County residents are used to living around wind turbines.

“It’s not completely foreign. People are used to seeing them,” he said.

“We’ve got enough energy here,” Sand said. “We’re not highly populated, so that energy is produced here and uses transmission lines to go places. I’m not sure where the final destination is on that.”

He said the new wind farm plans are still in the early stages.

“There hasn’t been a lot out there on it yet. I don’t think it’s a 100 percent sure to fully go yet.”

According to Jerry Lien, a public utilities analyst with the North Dakota Public Service Commission, Foxtail Wind and Xcel Energy have yet to file a permit for the new farm.

“They haven’t filed anything with us yet. There was a wind farm down there that was permitted some years ago that they might be using, but they’d need to file something with us. I think they’re talking down the road for this,” Lien said.

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