Articles from South Dakota
Landowners south of Harrold, South Dakota who are opposed to a planned wind farm slated to be built on neighbors’ properties, spoke for more than 20 minutes Monday urging the Hughes County Commission to increase the distance that wind turbine towers would be required to be sited from homes. The argued that the Commission’s plan to increase the setback distance from the current 1,000 feet in the county’s zoning ordinances, to 1,400 feet wasn’t going far enough and requested a minimum 1 mile between any large windmill and any home. The Commission adopted a the 1,400 setback distance.
Commission lawyer Kristin Edwards said the docket is a matter of "first impression" for wind farms regarding such requirements as setback distances and noise levels. She said it could set precedent for future wind permits anywhere in South Dakota.
More than 40 people spoke for and against the project, which could include 200 wind turbines, each 500 feet tall with rotor diameters of 446 feet. Sixty landowners have signed onto the project, which would cover 30,000 acres in the rolling Crocker Hills. The hearing was only for the commissioners to gather input. No decision was made by the PUC and won’t be until late January 2018.
Judge Carmen Means ...denied the motion for summary judgment in an oral ruling issued with little explanation indicating she did not have enough information to make a ruling and that the decision will have to be made after hearing all the evidence.
A judge on Monday ruled in favor of the Clark County Commissioners’ decision to keep wind towers a minimum of 3,960 feet from residences. The decision could affect the outcome of the Crocker Wind Farm planned by Geronimo Energy of Minneapolis.
Consolidated Edison Development wants to provide electricity from wind turbines and be paid $60.70 per megawatt-hour. The amount reflects $11.63 of avoided carbon expense. The commission’s staff said in June that carbon costs haven’t been allowed by the commission in the past and make Con Ed’s request “unreasonable on its face.”
There's no denying it's windy in South Dakota, but South Dakotans are denying wind turbines.
After about 40 minutes of a sometimes-heated discussion involving about 20 people, the Hughes County Planning and Zoning Commission decided on Monday to go ahead with a revision of its ordinances, increasing the minimum setbacks on large wind turbines from neighboring homes. ...the county’s zoning commission’s proposed amendment that would increase the setback distance of wind turbines from a neighbor’s residence from 1,000 feet to 1,400 feet.
The vote was 57-42 percent in favor of a requirement that all turbines be placed at least a half mile from all habitable dwellings in the county. Heavy turnout from southern Lincoln County was the deciding factor, with universal support for the stricter setbacks in every city south of Tea, and the precincts closest to the proposed footprint of a 150-turbine project saw turnouts of up to 57 percent - rare for a special election.
David Janes of rural Toronto, South Dakota, said he and his late wife had built a retirement home on their South Dakota farm site 17 years ago. ...“But when the turbines are running, I can’t hear the birds. All I hear is swoosh, swoosh swoosh, like a jet plane engine.”
"What this vote does have to do with is a safe setback, a distance from a home that is occupied by people and an industrial wind turbine," Brouwer explains. ...the current half-mile setback will better protect people from the noise and health issues are associated with wind turbines.
As more wind energy projects are established in South Dakota, it’s important that developers and local officials work to identify and address community concerns around new projects. One piece to consider is crafting zoning standards that focus on citizens’ concerns while allowing for development of renewable wind energy.
Those who support stricter setbacks say the project isn’t right for such a populated area. “We make our homes and our lives here,” said Winnie Peterson, executive director of We-Care SD, which stands for Wind Energy Concerns About the Rural Environment. The group has pushed for larger setbacks and supports the commission’s new rules that are subject to the July vote.
The company behind a proposed wind farm has gathered enough signatures to challenge a new set of rules adopted by county commissioners earlier this year.
A coalition of farm and energy groups launched a campaign Tuesday asking voters to overturn restrictive wind turbine rules passed last month in Lincoln County. The ordinance requires turbines to be spaced at least a half mile from homes unless the energy company obtains a waiver from the neighboring landowner.
It is time the people of South Dakota see what and who we are fighting. We must clearly see that these multinational/foreign corporations simply want to use us and our natural resources for their bottom line. However, knowledge is a powerful thing, and people are getting informed. But beware, big wind is relentless and has deep pockets.
On Monday, after a short public hearing in front of a packed room, the five-man Commission voted to put a six-month moratorium on any wind-energy development until county officials can study and probably tweak the ordinances. They were written eight or nine years ago and things have changed, said Commission Chairman Norm Weaver.
The Hughes County Commission made the right decision on Monday when it put a six-month moratorium on wind-farm development.
A special site to see was on full display at the Davison County North Offices on Tuesday night.
The Lincoln County Commission once again punted on wind turbine rules, leaving both investors in a massive wind farm and its opponents in the lurch.