Library filed under Zoning/Planning from South Dakota
The future of a wind power project in Deuel County is still undecided following another Deuel County Zoning Board meeting this week in Clear Lake.
The Deuel County Zoning Board narrowly denied an application by Flying Cow Wind, LCC, to build a wind farm near Lake Cochrane. The Bitter Root Wind Farm would have put up to 14 wind turbines on agricultural land on the eastern edge of the county near the Minnesota border.
Carrie Walkes of Avon, who has taught college nursing courses, spoke of her concerns about reported negative health effects of wind turbines. To prove one of her points, she touched Avon Clarion publisher Jack Brodeen — who volunteered for the demonstration — with a tuning fork. "I did feel it, and it would not be comfortable," Brodeen said.
The township adopted an ordinance to establish a 1-mile setback for any turbine larger than 75 feet tall. Under the approved ordinance, no large wind energy system could be built within 5,280 feet of the nearest residence of a non-participating homeowner, or within 1,500 feet of the nearest neighbor's property line. ..."We're not against wind energy; I think wind energy is great," Amick said before the meeting. "But an overwhelming majority of the township residents have voiced their opinion on this, with signing the petition."
LETCHER — Opposition to the construction of turbines in rural Letcher hasn't knocked the wind out of the project's sails.
Davison County residents will not have the opportunity to refer the denial of a $40 million wind farm to a public vote.
The proposed wind farm would have occupied a 3-mile by 1-mile stretch of Brad and Peggy Greenway's land in Beulah Township, which continued to garner heavy dissatisfaction from neighbors concerned with the project's impact on quality of life and property value. After the project was denied, Juhl Energy's Vice President of Project Development Corey Juhl expressed his confusion and disappointment in the outcome.
At Tuesday’s Davison County Commission meeting, the five commissioners unanimously decided to table the vote for a 9- to 11-turbine wind farm in Beulah Township after hearing concerns from several county residents about the project.
Gene Stehly wants answers. ...Stehly, and 15 to 20 neighbors he's spoken with about the wind turbines, are hoping the five-person commission takes some time to consider the project's potential impact on neighbors to the Greenways' property. "It's a fairly serious issue in terms of the way it might negatively affect a very large number of people. And this seems to be moving along pretty fast, considering it's kind of the first project in Davison County of this nature."
If investors find enough land, they will then need approval from the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission, and Bon Homme County will have the opportunity to establish a conditional use permit.
A Davison County committee has OK'd a conditional-use application to allow a Minnesota-based wind energy company to install a temporary wind tower that will gauge the feasibility of wind turbines between Mitchell and Mount Vernon.
"The (nearby) Beethoven project didn’t have to come to the PUC because it produced a total of 80 megawatts," he said. "My understanding is that this Prevailing Winds project is more than what currently exists in the Beethoven project. The plan is for Prevailing Winds to produce more than 100 megawatts."
The county commission could approve the permits, deny them or approve them with extra conditions. At that point, whichever side loses would be able to appeal the decision to circuit court.
The Spearfish City Council will renew discussions about an ordinance pertaining to wind energy generation systems in early 2015, following the tabling of a proposal in 2010. Wind energy generation systems exist outside of city limits, such as this one along the Old Belle Road, and the council discussed the desire to have standards in place regarding wind energy.
Wind farms are largely restricted to general agricultural districts, and developers have to submit bonds to pay for the cost of eventually decommissioning the farm. Commissioners made final changes last week to the ordinance to satisfy concerns raised by Rapid City Regional Airport.
The three-month moratorium prevents any construction, erection or installation of a wind turbine in city limits or the city's one-mile jurisdiction. The City Council had been considering an ordinance that would prohibit wind turbines within city limits and one-mile outside of town because of noise and aesthetics complaints.
South Dakota Public Utilities Commissioner Dusty Johnson said the general consensus is that South Dakota should move faster to bring certain industries — wind farms, for instance — to the state. The amount of channeled wind power in the state has increased 700 percent in the last 18 months, Johnson said, and work is continuing to lay groundwork for new wind farm projects.
The state Public Utilities Commission has made it easier for small power generators to get their renewable energy flowing onto the electric grid. Called the South Dakota Small Generation Interconnection Rules, Thursday's decision simplifies who can connect to the electric grid and how. It allows electric customers to be producers, too, by connecting clean energy systems such as solar panels and wind turbines to the grid.
The South Dakota Public Utilities Commission has approved a construction permit for the $700 million Buffalo Ridge II wind farm planned for Brookings and Deuel counties. All three commissioners agreed Tuesday to approve the 306-megawatt project, which could include up to 204 turbines.
Alternate sites near Winner and White Lake are being considered for a wind farm that would have at least 100 turbines. ...One possible location consists of 37,000 acres about 15 miles north of White Lake, including land in Brule, Aurora and Jerauld counties.