Posted 5/17/16 (Tue)
By Kevin Killough
What’s happening with the windfarm?
It’s a question on a lot of people’s minds, especially as photos of the turbine parts being staged at the Williston railhead float around the internet.
These will then be trucked up N.D. 40 to the project site in Lindahl Township north of Tioga.
James Bulman, project manager with Enel Green Power, gave a brief update at the last meeting of the Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Corporation.
“Here at Enel Green Power, we’re going to be here for at least the next 30 years,” Bulman said.
Bulman said construction would last from now until about Christmas.
The company is starting the dirt work and building the concrete foundations. That will continue until August.
The electrical work, including installing the transmission line, will start in July and go until the end of the year.
The community will start seeing the first turbines in August, Bulman said.
The company joined the EDC last week and said they want to be good partners with the community.
“It’s going to be a busy year, and we’re happy to be here,” he said.
Bulman said from July 4 through the end of October, they expect about 300 workers on the site on average. He said most of them will be renting hotels and apartments in Tioga.
There are 20 people on site now, and that will increase to 50 by the end of May.
About halfway through construction, Bulman said the company will be sending safety experts to coordinate a mock drill with emergency volunteers in town for preparedness in the event of an emergency at the site.
“Just so we’re all on the same page,” he explained.
The drill will be repeated once the turbines go up on the towers.
“About Halloween, it will start to fall off as people finish up their tasks and move on to the next project,” Bulman said.
After construction, the wind farm will have eight to 10 permanent employees maintaining the site for the next 30 years.