North Dakota approves Minnesota Power wind farm

North Dakota regulators are reviewing about $600 million worth of new wind energy projects in western North Dakota. The state Public Service Commission approved construction of a $157 million Minnesota Power wind power project in Oliver and Morton counties. It includes 35 new wind turbines that can generate about 105 megawatts of electricity.

Three other projects are awaiting public hearings. They call for building 155 new wind turbines that could produce about 250 megawatts of power. They would cost $450 million. Commissioners Tony Clark and Kevin Cramer say there’s rising demand for wind farm projects because neighboring Minnesota is requiring utilities to supply some power from renewable energy sources. Cramer says developers also are rushing to take advantage of a federal tax break for wind power before it expires next year.