Regulators approve wind farm in Burke County

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota regulators have approved a permit for an energy company that wants to build dozens of wind turbines in Burke County.

The state Public Service Commission granted approval for the $300 million Northern Divide Wind Project and a $30 million, 41-mile long transmission line to a substation in Mountrail County.

The project includes up to 74 turbines which would generate 200 megawatts of wind power, Minot Daily News reported.

Northern Divide is a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources, which last year had been denied a permit for another subsidiary, Burke Wind, because of concerns about dangers to migratory birds.

“NextEra worked closely with the North Dakota Game and Fish and U.S. Fish and Wildlife to address the concerns identified by these expert agencies in the first permitting process. As a result, Northern Divide Wind is significantly different in its impacts to wetlands and wildlife than the Burke Wind project was,” said Commissioner Julie Fedorchak.

The Northern Divide project is significantly smaller and has less impact to native prairie and wetlands, Fedorchak said.

Construction, which could start this year, is expected to take six months.