Articles from South Dakota
Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., has written U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials to say that changing wind farm policies based on the chance that migrating whooping cranes might be hurt would send a bad message.
The Brookings County Planning and Zoning Commission last week gave the OK to Nativas Energy to build a 200-megawatt, 100-turbine wind farm southeast of White. The project in Sherman Township, called the White Wind Farm, already had approval from the state Public Utilities Commission, and the county was Navitas' last hurdle. Construction is expected to begin in 2008.
There is good news and bad news for South Dakota wind energy from six years of monitoring data. The state's wind resources have long ranked at or near the top in the U.S., though turbine construction has lagged states such as Minnesota and Iowa. The Wind Resource Assessment Network confirms the potential is high, and has even been underestimated in some places. The bad news is that peak wind speeds tend not to match up with peak demand. The assessment shows the highest wind speeds at 10 locations are at night and in the winter, whereas peak electricity use occurs during hot summer days. Future developments such as the wider use of plug-in electric cars could overcome those limitations, engineering professor Mike Ropp of South Dakota State University said in a news release. SDSU set up the wind assessment network, along with electric cooperatives and other groups.
Developers are getting a better picture of South Dakota's wind energy potential thanks to South Dakota State University science. Associate professor Mike Ropp in SDSU's Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science said SDSU's Wind Resource Assessment Network, or WRAN, is working with electric cooperatives, private landowners, and South Dakota Public Broadcasting to assess wind energy potential around South Dakota. Stations across the state are gathering long-term data about wind speeds at 50, 70, and even 90 meters above the earth. A height of 50 meters is about 164 feet. A height of 90 meters is about 295 feet. "That band is where wind turbines live. But there's a dearth of information about wind speeds at those heights," Ropp said.
South Dakota's wind energy potential is being capitalized by a new wind farm that's springing up in McPherson County. Sixty turbines are being erected north of Long lake in north-central South Dakota. Another 60 are going up just across the border in Dickey County, North Dakota. The Tatanka wind farm is expected to be completed by the end of the year. The electricity will be fed into the Montana-Dakota Utilities system. The project is slated to produce about 90 megawatts in South Dakota and 90 in North Dakota. One megawatt will supply more than 400 homes.
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) A big wind farm in east central South Dakota got the go-ahead today from the Public Utilities Commission. It approved a construction permit for a wind farm of up to 103 turbines southeast of White. It would be built by Navitas Energy, a Minneapolis developer of wind farms.
The state Public Utilities Commission on Tuesday approved a construction permit for a $300 million wind farm of up to 103 turbines southeast of White....The permit for what would be the state's largest wind farm and an accompanying 29-page document that lays out all conditions was approved with little discussion, few questions and no opposition.
The U.S. Senate has passed Amendment #1609, an energy transmission infrastructure amendment to the recently passed energy bill. Proposed by Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., the infrastructure amendment would encourage the creation of energy corridors to facilitate the transference of wind energy generated in South Dakota to high-demand areas, according to Thune's office. "This legislation is critical to promoting the development of wind energy in South Dakota and around the country. As the windiest state in the nation, South Dakota will greatly benefit from these provisions. Today's vote in the Senate is a major step in the direction of clean, alternative energy," Thune says.
DEADWOOD, S.D. - Discussions over clean energy opened the 2007 Western Governors' Association's recent annual meeting in the Black Hills. Ten of the 19 governors were in attendance and elected officials from Canada were also present. Clean energy was not the only topic for the meeting June 10 - 12, but it took up a good portion of event. Carbon capturing and sequestration, or CCS - the process of capturing CO2 emissions for storage underground - was discussed at length. Western states have had to rely most recently on fossil fuel as a power source because a seven-year drought has substantially reduced the flow of water to hydroelectric dams on the Missouri River. The hydro power from those dams is allocated through the Western Area Power Administration.
Washington (AP) Senator John Thune is pushing provisions that would promote the development of wind energy as the Senate debates a new energy bill. The Senate today passed a Thune amendment that would promote the development of energy transmission infrastructure. It would promote the creation of "energy corridors" that would make it easier to transfer wind energy to high-demand areas. Thune says South Dakota already has the wind energy and that the missing link is the way to deliver the energy. Also today, the Senate Finance Committee passed energy legislation that would extend a production tax credit for wind energy. That bill will be added to the energy legislation being considered by the full Senate.
Renewable energy is proving to be an oasis of cooperation amid conflict in Congress, but technology probably will determine how long that lasts and how much South Dakota benefits. A U.S. Senate committee last week passed a measure by a 20-3 vote increasing ethanol production seven-fold. The majority included a proxy vote by Sen. Tim Johnson, according to a spokeswoman. Sen. John Thune proposed a major tax break for wind energy, and this week will hear arguments for increasing vehicle fuel-economy standards.
Wisconsin Public Service Corporation, a subsidiary of Integrys Energy Group (NYSE: TEG), is looking to build or buy a wind generation facility of approximately 100 megawatts of nameplate capacity somewhere in the Midwest. "To help meet our renewable energy requirements, we are exploring wind options throughout the footprint of the Midwest Independent System Operator (MISO), our regional electric transmission authority," said Public Service Director - Renewable and Special Projects Rob Benninghoff. "That includes the area roughly from the Dakotas to Illinois."
Developing wind power is a spendy proposition. Construction of a single wind turbine can run $1.8 million. And once turbines are in place there still must be a way to transmit power. Depending on the size of line, building that transmission capability can run from $60,000 to $400,000 per mile. "That's one of the problems," said Jim Edwards, assistant general manager of operations for East River Electric. "The wind is where the transmission isn't." South Dakota and North Dakota account for 58 percent of the onshore wind resource in the nation, but the states are also among the most sparsely populated in the country. That power has to be transmitted to population centers. Many South Dakotans might say the wind never quits blowing in the state, but in reality wind turbines operate only about a third of the time. That inconsistency is one of the biggest problems in trying to harness wind energy. Electrical needs don't follow the wind, so that wind energy cannot be used as a sole source of power.
Rain clouds have been all too rare for the past seven years in the Missouri River basin, but wind energy advocates are seeing a silver lining anyway. Drought has cut hydropower production to 56 percent of normal, leaving space on the electric grid and demand in the marketplace. That might create an opportunity for new wind farms to replace missing hydropower. Dam operators could return the favor by ramping up hydro production - forming a partnership of zero-emission energy sources.
The takeover of American utilities and energy companies (BP, for example, is a British-based company and Shell is Dutch) is happening at a very rapid rate. Globalists say this is the new age we live in. A few people worry about what happens as Americans lose control of their own infrastructure and are squeezed out of participation in it by huge foreign corporations. Those who control the infrastructure control the country. And so it goes. Australian and Spanish wind turbines in the South Dakota sunset.
The N.D. Public Service Commission has approved a transmission line for a new wind farm in North Dakota and South Dakota. Tatanka Wind Power LLC is planning to build about 120 wind turbines, capable of generating about 180 megawatts of power. They will be in North Dakota's Dickey County and South Dakota's McPherson County. State regulators say the company wants to build the $7 million, 10-mile power line to connect the wind turbines to North Dakota's electrical grid. The PSC said in its ruling that there are no permanently occupied houses in the vicinity of the proposed transmission line.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - A group of utilities in Iowa, Minnesota and the Dakotas plan to spend $200 million on a project in Iowa that would store energy generated by wind turbines. The Iowa Stored Energy Park would essentially act as a "battery" for wind energy, said Bob Haub, executive director of the Iowa Association of Municipal Utilities. Wind farms in Iowa, Minnesota and the Dakotas would ship energy over the power grid to the storage park near Des Moines. Xcel Energy and the federal government are experimenting with ways to "store" wind power in the form of hydrogen, but the Iowa project would employ a far simpler strategy that would include the following steps:
WESSINGTON SPRINGS, S.D. (AP) -- Heartland Consumers Power District has partnered with the Australian firm that's buying NorthWestern Corp. and has agreed to purchase electricity produced by turbines at what will be one of the state's largest wind farms. The wind farm will spread over about 3,000 acres just south of Wessington Springs. Jim Burg, Wessington Springs mayor and former state Public Utilities Commission member, said preparation for construction could start soon. "I think you'll see a lot of activity this year as far as testing soils and surveying and all those types of things," he said. "You'll see some of that happening anytime but I'm told that construction won't begin until 2008." The project includes 34 large wind turbines, each 262 feet tall with a rotor diameter of 253 feet. Currently, the largest wind farm in the state, near Highmore, has 27 turbines. Other projects already in the works could end up being larger.
You can’t accuse John Koskan of thinking small. Koskan, a former Republican legislator from Wood, outlined a plan Wednesday to use money from the state cement plant sale and a temporary sales tax increase to build three power lines across South Dakota. The transmission lines would help South Dakota position itself as a leader in production and export of wind energy, Koskan told the Senate State Affairs Committee. Big vision, little support.
Knight & Carver will make conventional turbine blades at first. But earlier this month, it made a single curved blade designed to tap into low-speed winds not captured with current technology. South Dakota is one of the windiest places in the nation, yet it trails neighboring states in developing wind energy. The new facility is part of an effort to find a niche in the emerging industry while bringing technology jobs to rural areas.