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Published February 02, 2011, 09:28 AM

ND PSC may get broader wind farm siting authority

BISMARCK, N.D — After restricting the North Dakota Public Service Commission's authority to review wind farm locations, the Legislature is considering a bill to give the regulatory agency siting power over almost all wind projects.

BISMARCK, N.D — After restricting the North Dakota Public Service Commission's authority to review wind farm locations, the Legislature is considering a bill to give the regulatory agency siting power over almost all wind projects.

The North Dakota Senate voted unanimously on Tuesday to extend the PSC's jurisdiction to wind projects capable of generating more than one-half megawatt of electricity.

Under present law, the commission has siting authority only when a project can generate more than 60 megawatts of power.

Minot Sen. David Hogue said the thresholds prompted some wind energy developers to “break up” projects to avoid exceeding the 60-megawatt threshold.

Hogue said one of the legislation's objectives is to “close that loophole.”

The House will now review the bill. It is SB2196.

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