Bismarck Tribune editorial: Wind projects encountering more hurdles

November 7, 2019

Getting proposed wind farms spinning in North Dakota isn’t as easy as in the past, and it’s likely to get more difficult. There are growing concerns about the projects, ranging from the impact on the viewshed to the noise created by the turbines...

The Laborers District Council of Minnesota and North Dakota raised another issue at then PSC meeting. The union wants the commission to require the companies to report the number of local and nonlocal workers used to construct wind farms.

The union released a report last month that estimates 14% of construction jobs on recent wind farm projects in the state were filled by North Dakota-based workers. It’s not unusual for companies to use the same traveling workers on projects. This is often cheaper.

While there was understanding from the commission, commissioners suggested it might be more appropriate for the Legislature, Department of Commerce or Job Service North Dakota to adopt the reporting requirement.

The Tribune believes the use of more North Dakota workers would be financially beneficial to the state.

Whatever the outcome of the Ruso Wind request before the PSC, it’s apparent future wind projects in the state will face more hurdles in the future. That’s OK. While wind farms provide a source of renewal energy, they also have drawbacks. Thorough hearings are needed before the turbines are allowed to dot the landscape.

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