Friday, April 5, 2013

Merricourt Wind Energy Project Update

A federal judge in Minnesota reportedly has dismissed the lawsuit brought against Minneapolis-based Xcel Energy by EDF Renewable Energy over the cancellation of a $400 million southeastern North Dakota wind farm.

Xcel maintains it walked away from its power purchase agreement in April 2011 because of delays and cost uncertainty related to the threat posed by the proposed 100 turbines to endangered bird species including the whooping crane and piping plover. EDF (formerly known as EnXco) alleges the project was cancelled because Xcel saw a financial advantage after the price of wind turbines declined during the recession and says it will appeal the judge's decision.

The wind farm was approved by the North Dakota Public Service Commission in June 2011 for construction near Merricourt in McIntosh and Dickey Counties, but the project currently lacks a federal permit that would exempt EDF from liability if it was shown that its turbines killed an endangered species, according to this week's news report. Read more

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