Library from South Dakota
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.
MITCHELL, S.D. - The major-party candidates seeking a six-year term on the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission have made wind energy a big issue in their campaigns. Democrat Steve Kolbeck of Brandon said the PUC needs to be more aggressive in making deals with companies that build transmission lines that South Dakota energy providers could use. Republican John Koskan of Wood said the PUC needs to consider all forms of energy and be creative in its marketing because of growing markets in places like the Twin Cities.
A company that is planning a wind power project across the North Dakota-South Dakota border wants to construct a 10-mile power line to connect the turbines to North Dakota’s electrical grid, state regulators say. The Public Service Commission on Wednesday accepted Tatanka Wind Power LLC’s letter of intent to build the Dickey County power line, which the company hopes to begin constructing in March. Company filings estimate the project’s cost at $7.3 million.
A large wind farm that’s being built in Brookings County, South Dakota, and Lincoln County, Minnesota, must be operating by the end of next year so it can qualify for federal tax credits.
With all the wind in South Dakota, seeing more wind turbines on the horizon would only seem to make sense. Xcel Energy Spokesman, Kent Larson, says “As you all know South Dakota has been called the Saudi Arabia of wind with tremendous potential to provide clean, reliable energy to our customers. ” Thursday’s announcement of a new 150-Megawatt wind power project, set to share the border between South Dakota and Minnesota, is significant because that potential is slowly becoming reality. Gary Hanson, with South Dakota Public Utilities Commission, says, “This means the breaking of the ground and the pioneering on the eastern side is just going to grow exponentially.”
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) -- Senator Tim Johnson says construction can proceed on a wind energy farm in the Brookings area. He says the Minn-Dakota wind farm would be the largest wind energy project in South Dakota.
EUREKA - If wind power production in South Dakota could function like value-added agriculture, the benefits to the state would be great. The concept has the backing of the state Public Utilities Commission. But making it work could take time, commissioners say. What's called community-based development was a popular topic at a PUC meeting in Eureka on Wednesday night. About 80 people attended the 90-minute session that focused on wind energy.
AGENCY VILLAGE, S.D. (AP) - The Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate is moving forward with plans to develop a wind farm on tribal trust lands in northeast South Dakota. The tribe has hired the engineering and consulting firm Black and Veatch of Overland Park, Kan., to help develop the project. Three company representatives explained the plans at a community meeting Thursday. Interim tribal chairman Jerry Flute said he would like to see the project focus on producing electricity for local use.
The South Dakota Public Utilities Commission will have a public meeting in Eureka at 7 p.m. Wednesday to discuss wind energy development.
WASHINGTON — Southern California and the urban centers from Northern Virginia to New York face the most critical power grid problems, but such remote areas as Montana and the Dakotas may need new transmission lines in the near future, an Energy Department report warns.