Future North Dakota Wind Farms Likely Face Transmission Troubles

Source: By Robert Suhr, KXNET • Posted: Wednesday, November 6, 2019

 BISMARCK — The future of wind energy in North Dakota could be in jeopardy because North Dakota apparently has too much wind.

With the state being one of the leaders in wind power, all that wind is attractive to developers who may want to build new wind farms here.

However, the Public Service Commissions said the current power grid is having trouble handling all that power.

Wind Energy officials said they are thinking twice about building new wind farms in the state because there’s no additional room in the transmission system to handle the additional flow of power.

The other issue is if transmission lines need to be upgraded, the cost is the responsibility of the developer and not the state.

KX News spoke with the PSC and they told us Ruso Wind Farm project east of Max is reconsidering due to the cost of updating the lines.

“They had planned on trying to interconnect to the MISO system, and they got the price tag for that and it was exorbitant, it was twice the cost of building the generation facility, just to connect, so it didn’t make economic sense anymore, and so they are restudying that,” said PSC Commissioner Julie Fedorchak.

She added this is not just a North Dakota problem.

Neighboring states are also dealing with transmission line congestion and it’s a problem that could take many years to fix.