ND wind project goes forward despite legal fight

Associated Press

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A 150-megawatt wind energy project in southeastern North Dakota is going ahead despite a legal fight between its developer and Xcel Energy.

North Dakota's Public Service Commission has approved a site plan for enXco Development Corp. to build 100 wind turbines in Dickey and McIntosh counties. The project's cost is estimated at $400 million.

enXco planned to sell the wind power to Xcel Energy, but the utility dropped out of the project in April. Xcel said it feared the project would harm the piping plover and whooping crane.

Commission Chairman Tony Clark says enXco's site plan includes adequate protections for rare bird species.

enXco and Xcel Energy are suing each other over Xcel's decision to drop the project. enXco says it wants to settle the matter.