Library from South Dakota

PUC conditions not followed

The hearing was about the condition that the PUC imposed on Crowned Ridge/Next Era in the permit. They were to install low noise trailing edge blades on all turbines. They didn’t, and they got caught. They also got caught erecting towers taller than permitted, generators bigger than permitted along with a host of allegations about noise and shadow flicker violations. ...Crowned Ridge’s excuse was it was too cold, they didn’t order them early enough, as Commissioner Hanson compared it to “the dog ate my homework” excuse.
9 Feb 2020

South Dakota regulators approve waiver for wind farm project

The risk to the lake and the richly diverse wildlife that traverse it is among the reasons the Lake Erie Foundation has come out publicly opposed to a proposed offshore wind turbine development titled “Icebreaker Wind.” Lipaj was asked to lead a discussion regarding the topic at the Marblehead Peninsula Chamber of Commerce’s community business update meeting this week.
7 Jan 2020

Waiver request for $400M wind farm project deferred by S.D. regulators

Public Utilities Commission Chairman Gary Hanson wasn’t impressed with NextEra’s management of the project and failure to explain certain aspects of the project during previous hearings. “The compliance with the permit is foundation. A name plate, sound and flicker — these are not new to the process,” Hanson said. "At the very least this needs to be deferred until we get some answers.” Hanson said if the decisions isn’t deferred, his other option would be to deny the waiver.
31 Dec 2019

County board approves wind turbine dismantling work

Commissioner John Claggett said he was “deluged” with calls, asking why the county would accept wind turbines when the commission has not allowed wind turbines to be built in the county. He said governing bodies aren’t doing enough to hold wind energy companies and supporters accountable. “I’m getting asked, ‘We don’t have active wind farms here, why do we bring that in?'" he said.
10 Dec 2019

Energy firm continues investigation into cause of incident at wind farm

Construction manager Scott Creech confirmed an incident occurred Wednesday in Bon Homme County. However, he declined to provide more details on what caused the tipping of the crane, which was shown lying on the ground in social media photos. ...Creech also declined to confirm the crane’s height. However, Ronnie Hornstra, president of Prevailing Wind LLC, has told the Press & Dakotan "two of the only three mammoth cranes this size in the United States are on the project."
27 Sep 2019

SD Public Utilities Commission issues $30,000 max fine for southeastern wind farm's permit violation

Commissioner Kristie Fiegen said the fact that Prevailing Wind violated one of many conditions in their permits so early in their construction was a major concern -- especially for a project of its size. ...in order to avoid a costly civil lawsuit. Prevailing Wind will pay the maximum fine of $10,000 per day of the violation, totaling $30,000. The money will go to the permanent school fund.
15 May 2019

New law will streamline wind and solar energy permits

“This major legislation doubles the amount of time citizens have to prepare for and resolve issues during wind evidentiary hearings,” said PUC Chairman Gary Hanson. “It gives citizens a stronger negotiating position, and guarantees that all parties to a docket are entitled to an evidentiary hearing. The new law also provides local governments with more influence in wind and solar development.”
22 Mar 2019

Naked in the wind

In the eyes of a lawyer, which is not very romantic, when a wind farm contains steel, wires, underground cabling, electrical components and concrete we have potential legal liability.  Wind farm infrastructure is not owned by the landowner.  It is owned by the wind farm operator.  A landowner has no right to control or interfere with a wind farm. Who may be liable and to what extent is always an interesting legal question.  A court calls this the allocation of liability.  It is best not to become involved in a question on the allocation of liability.  General liability insurance coverage is one way in which liability risks are reduced.
12 Mar 2019

The legislature’s failing grade on wind farms

Financial decommissioning safeguards, if in place, would have a considerable effect on the interest of local landowners, farmers, ranchers and neighbors in proposed wind farms. It is a common response to a proposed wind farm for a landowner to say, 'Oh yes they will be here today – but gone tomorrow.' If 'tomorrow' comes don't landowners, farmers, ranchers and the neighbors of a wind farm have a right to the proper and complete process of decommissioning?
18 Feb 2019

Critique of Campbell County SD proposed wind ordinance

Campbell_temporary_zoning_ordinance_011519_thumb During the summer of 2018, Campbell County Commission discussed a possible need of a wind farm ordinance, Since that time, the county held no hearings or workshops that would provide the public an opportunity to comment on the new law. The only scheduled public hearing is set for February 7th, 2019 where the County will present the ordinance. Attorney David L Ganje has expressed concern that the County is rushing the process and, in doing so, failing to allow for a free exchange ideas about the wind farm ordinance. In August, 2018, Attorney Ganje recommended the commission convene several formal and informal public meetings and hire experts in order to deliver a well-crafted ordinance. 
29 Jan 2019

Public meeting held for Pass Creek Wind

A public meeting was held on Monday, December 10, 2018, at the Martin Activity Center to discuss plans for Pass Creek Wind, a utility-scale wind energy project planned for Bennett County north of Martin. Approximately 35 people attended the meeting including Bennett County Commissioners, local ranchers and members of the Oglala Sioux Tribe. 
11 Dec 2018

http://www.windaction.org/posts?location=South+Dakota
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