Spirit Lake -- The Dickinson county board of supervisors today (Tues.) heard an update on plans by Apex Wind Energy for a wind farm proposed for southwestern Dickinson and northwestern Clay counties. Brenna Gunderson with Apex Wind Energy told the supervisors construction is currently scheduled to start this coming spring on the Upland Prairie Wind Farm project.
"What that means across the project is there will be approximately 120 turbines. We're looking at 2.5 megawatt turbines, G.E. turbines, and there will also be a few, up to 26, 2.3 megawatt turbines, both G.E. You probably wouldn't even know the difference between them if you looked at them, they're very close in size. In Dickinson county that would be approximately 47 to 51 turbines. Now the reason for that range is that we do have some spares in our project design as a plan B so to speak. So you've got your plan A which is 47 turbines in Dickinson county. We're also looking at two permanent meteorological towers as well."
Gunderson says the county and landowners in the project area will see some financial benefits.
"And just kind of an overview, we're looking at property tax revenue for Dickinson county over the life of the project upwards of $12 million in new property tax revenue. Landowner payments, I have this at $40 million which is both Clay and Dickinson counties because there are some landowners who own land in both and it was just getting complicated, so in the area there's basically an additional $40 million going to landowners for payments. These are lease agreements, easement agreements and good neighbor agreements."
The project is also expected to generate about 15 full-time operational and maintenance jobs paying between $35,000 and $50,000 a year.
The project still needs to go before the boards of adjustment in the two counties to obtain necessary conditional use permits before being finalized. The Dickinson County Board of Adjustment will hold a hearing on the matter July 24th.
Gunderson added Alliant Energy will assume ownership of the project once construction is completed.