2013-02-07 / Top News

PSC sites $1.7 billion in energy-related projects

The North Dakota Public Service Commission has reported it approved more than $1.7 billion in new energyrelated infrastructure projects by companies in 2012.

This included $56 million in new electric generation facilities, $707 million in liquid pipelines, nearly $406 million in new transmission lines and $550 million in wind farms.

“While it is significant that we continue to site projects that improve our infrastructure, I can’t emphasize enough the importance of public input early in the process,” Commission Chairman Brian Kalk said. “In every project there is a hearing conducted, in the project area, its critical stakeholders attend these hearings and provide their input so it can be included in the record. In order to make the best decisions we need to hear the concerns early in the process.”

The projects are in various stages of completion, but Commission approval means the companies have completed the regulatory requirements necessary to begin construction.

“With North Dakota’s vibrant economy, demand is way up for electricity to fuel the boom and pipelines to transport valuable Bakken oil and gas to market,” Commissioner Julie Fedorchak said. “Companies are stepping up to make these investments in electric generation, transmission and pipelines and we are working hard to ensure that all the proper steps are taken to ensure public safety and protect the environment.”

Commissioner Randy Christmann added, “Our process really achieves two important goals. It ensures that landowners and the environment get fair consideration and it ensures that good projects can get up and running as quickly as possible. This Commission is working diligently to reduce unneeded truck traffic, reduce the amount of gas that is flared, and move products to wherever they are needed as safely and efficiently as possible.”

Looking ahead, 2013 promises to be another busy year for siting new energyrelated infrastructure. For example, the Commission has 10 letters of intent filed by companies for future pipeline projects in North Dakota.

A number of wind projects have been pending since 2008 and the recent extension of the federal wind production tax credit could prompt companies to resurrect some of these projects.

A complete spreadsheet of projects dating back to 2005 is available at psc.nd.gov.

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