Would you put a 350-foot wind turbine on your land?
That’s the question my dad was asked by a representative of NextEra Energy Resources not long after the company expressed interest in leasing a small corner of land in an area owned by our family about 2½ miles west of our farm.
The turbine would be part of the Brady Wind Energy Center II project NextEra plans to stretch across northern Hettinger County as a complementary project to the larger Brady Wind Energy Center I proposed for southern Stark County.
My dad promptly asked me the same question and others. “What do you know about the company?” And, “What do you think we should do?”
NEW ENGLAND — The company that withdrew its application to build a $250 million wind farm in eastern Stark County isn’t giving up on southwest North Dakota.
A spokesperson for Florida-based NextEra Energy Resources said Thursday that it is “looking at multiple options” in the area for a future wind project.
“That’s about as specific as I can be at this point,” Steven Stengel, NextEra’s director of communications, said Thursday in an email to The Press. He added that NextEra is continuing to speak with its stakeholders about projects that will address their concerns.
The spring planting season has begun in southwest North Dakota.
County extension agents and farmers south of Dickinson said fertilizing and seeding of fields is slowly starting throughout the area thanks to a mix of warm temperatures, dry conditions and general anxiousness.
“Right now, everybody is tickled,” said Duaine Marxen, Hettinger County’s extension agent.
But it isn’t full-speed-ahead quite yet, farmers said.
“We’re kind of piddling along here,” said Terry Kirschemann, who farms near Regent. “We need another week of temperatures before we can get into the heavier stuff.”
MOTT — Mott sits on the outer edge of western North Dakota’s Oil Patch. Still, the small town of about 800 people has found ways to contribute to the bustling energy industry.
The company making perhaps the biggest impact is Roadmaster, a subsidiary of K&K Construction in West Fargo.
Though its name can be deceiving — a remnant of about a decade ago when its primary task was fabricating and welding metals for asphalt paving equipment — Roadmaster is contracted to fabricate and weld structural steel used on electrical substations that end up being used on oil rigs and at major substations throughout the country. Along with that, the shop also makes cattle creep feeders.
“A lot of this goes nationwide,” manager Corey Johnson said. “It’s a big process.”