More wind power coming on line in North Dakota

Above party did not speak at hearings which approved 159 wind turbines. Photo courtesy of DollarPhotoClub before they merged into Adobe Stock.
Above party did not speak at hearings which approved 159 wind turbines. Photo courtesy of DollarPhotoClub before they merged into Adobe Stock.

Several articles on the increasing number of slice-and-dicers in the state.

Also, ethanol lobbyists want the feds to force customers to buy more of their food-based power; this is cronyism in action. That customers don’t want to burn more corn in their cars and don’t want the higher prices and don’t want to risk damaging their engines is not a factor in the lobbying.

6/16 – Forum News Service at Bismark Tribune – N.D. utility regulators approve wind farm project – The state PSC approved the Brady Wind Energy Center I near Dickinson. There has been a lot of public opposition to the project for quite some time.

The project will have 87 slicing/dicing turbines with a theoretical capacity of 150 mW when the wind is not blowing too fast or too slow. Expected cost is $250M, which will be $1.67M per theoretical mW. Turbines will be 1.8mW capacity.

Theoretical capacity of eagles killed per year per turbine is not mentioned in the discussion of the PSC approval. Golden Eagle pictured above was not present to share his views on the threat to lives of his relatives.

NextEra expects construction to start within 2 weeks and to be completed by the end of 2017.

Article has a superb photo that shows the massive size of the turbines.

7/6 – Dickinson Press – PSC approves Brady Wind II in Hettinger County – Construction can begin any day now on the 72 slice-and-dicers rated at 150MW theoretical capacity. This project, referred to as Brady Wind II will be tied in to the 87 turbine Brady Wind I farm. Only impact of extensive public opposition is additional setbacks of the turbines.

At such point as the Aircraft Detection Light System (ADLS) is available, it will be installed on all the turbines in both of the Brady Wind farms so that the anti-collision lights 400 feet in the air will only be turned on when there is an airplane in the vicinity. That should reduce the extensive light pollution in the two counties. If you’ve been in the north country at night, just imagine the amount of light pollution a wind farm creates.

6/18 – Forum News Service at Bismarck Tribune – Western North Dakota in the midst of a wind boom – Over 400 wind turbines have been built in western North Dakota. Another 550 are on the drawing board with construction by the end of 2018.

Two driving factors: Many states have voluntarily agreed to force utilities to meet arbitrary requirements for how much electricity is generated from unreliable renewables. That forces a lot of utilities to build in North Dakota, where there is lots of wind.

Second, the investment tax credit for  expires the end of 2018. Without a massive federal subsidy, the projects are not economically viable. This website says the credit is $0.023 per kilowatt-hour. That is a large portion of the wholesale cost of electricity.

6/25 – Dickinson Press – South Dakota ethanol industry calls for larger ethanol market – Congress set a knowingly ambitious target for the amount of food we should burn in our cars. The EPA has authority to vary the amount by year. That is leaving those whose very business is dependent upon forced purchase of their product worried they won’t see ever increasing sales year after year.

Thus, the crony capitalists whose lucrative livelihoods are conditioned on special favors requiring customers to buy their products are lobbying the government to increase the amount of forced subsidies put into their pockets from unwilling customers.

On one hand, this is understandable. Crony capitalists have to crony. If it just takes a bit of lobbying in DC to force your customers to unwillingly buy more of your product, hey, life is good!

On the other hand, this is happening in South Dakota. Here in California on the west coast or in Maryland on the east coast this would be understandable. But South Dakota? A land of independent, self-sufficient farmers? That I don’t get.

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