By Dave Thompson

VALLEY CITY, N.D. (Prairie Public) – A wind farm in Barnes County is the first facility in North Dakota to be re-powered – that is, upgraded from the original.

The Public Service Commission has okayed the re-power plan. Under it, Ashtabula Wind will replace existing turbines with newer, more power-generating models, and that will increase its capacity from 148.5 megawatts to 160.4 megawatts. The turbine blades will also be larger.

The company had started work on the site before the PSC acted.

Commissioner Julie Fedorchak.

Fedorchak says the Commission’s order removes any reference to a “nameplate” generation capacity. She says that might make it a little easier for the company to re-power again.

But Fedorchak says the company will still have to abide by PSC rules on noise and shadow-flicker.