Bald eagles have put the brakes on a proposed wind farm in North Dakota as state regulators seek input on how the towers with their spinning blades could impact the national bird.
Rolette Power Development LLC applied to the state Public Service Commission in March for a site permit for a $175 million, 100.4-megawatt wind farm with up to 59 turbines about three miles south of Rolette in north-central North Dakota.
After a public hearing June 29, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service notified the developer of a documented bald eagle nest within the project’s study boundary and several other bald eagle nests in proximity to the 14,720-acre project area.
Project consultant KLJ checked the eagle nest database maintained by the state Game and Fish Department – which hadn’t mentioned any nests in its response to a consultation letter in May – and verified that there are two active eagle nests about 2.4 miles and 4.5 miles from the project area boundary.