By Associated Press - Thursday, December 30, 2021

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Regulators in North Dakota have signed off on a new plan to tear down a wind farm.

The Bismarck Tribune reported Wednesday that the Public Service Commission voted 2-1 to approve a new plan to remove 61 turbines on the North Dakota side of the Tatanka Wind Farm. The farm straddles the border between North Dakota and South Dakota.

Tatanka wants to make cuts in the turbine towers and pull them to the ground with a cable. The company originally wanted to use a crawler crane to take down the structures, but says the cable method would cost about $5.5 million less.

Commissioner Randy Christmann cast the dissenting vote, saying he was worried about environmental damage when the turbines come down. Tatanka officials argued in filings that moving the crawler crane and its pads would result in more ground disturbance and potential crop loss than the cable plan.

Commissioner Brian Kroshus said there’s no clear plan for dismantling wind farms because so few have come down across the country and when the private sector promotes a better way to do things it’s a “win-win across the board.”

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