Marshall Independent: Bitter Root project targets the high ground in YMC

Jim Muchlinski - Thursday, January 10th, 2019

The 152-megawatt Bitter Root Wind Farm proposal in Fortier Township, Yellow Medicine County. is drawing interest from public officials, local economic development supporters, nationwide labor advocates, and residents living near the planned construction zone....

At the same time, RES is addressing the question of local versus non-local construction phase labor. An administrative law ruling issued Dec. 6, 2018, directed the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission to consider the percentage of local labor used in each new wind project as a factor in certificates of need and site permits. Higher percentages of local labor, especially totals at or above 70 percent of the construction workforce, would be favorable to project approval.

Kevin Pranis, the marketing manager for the Minnesota and North Dakota chapter of Laborers International Union of North America, said the Dec. 6 ruling is one of two major new precedents that should ensure continued local economic benefits from wind turbine construction.

Another ruling, resulting from a project application for the Nobles II wind energy facility near Wilmont in Nobles County north of Worthington, puts forth reporting guidelines through which wind developers must disclose amounts of local labor used in a project.

Read the full article here.