Library from South Dakota
Lincoln County voted to bar industrial wind development Tuesday night, backers of a massive turbine farm say.
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.
A proposed wind farm near Avon has pulled its application for a state permit, one week after nearly 300 people attended a sharply divided public hearing for the project.
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.
A proposed 201-megawatt wind farm faces its next challenge this week, as state officials hold a hearing in the vicinity of the proposed Prevailing Winds site.
While some communities have welcomed wind farms with open arms, others are actively working to prevent them. “Of the 77 registered voters, 50 of them did sign a petition against it,” Letcher Township Supervisor Murray VanLaecken said.
Every night, I can sit in my lazy boy and see the red lights flicker. When I put up hay almost next to the towers, I can hear them, see their obnoxious 500-plus feet steel structures ruin the skyline, and experience the shadow flicker when the sun is coming up or going down. ...Do your homework. They will ruin your quality of life.
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.
Thus, the 30-year average tax revenue benefit to the Sanborn Central School District would be a meager $7,600 per year. They currently receive $4,877 per student from the state, meaning that tax revenue equates to a mere 1.6 students over the life of the project. If we have one young family move from Sanborn County, not wanting to live in the shadows of these behemoths, it would more than wipe out the supposed tax benefit.
Blindauer is worried about the imposing size of the structures, which would likely be the same size as the 446-foot turbines proposed in Davison County, she's more concerned with the potential impact on the value of her property. Blindauer also said she was asked to consider installing a tower on her land, but she declined ..."I'm not taking it. I don't want to devalue my land with those things. Plus the fact that I respect my neighbors, too."
One pending bill would raise the sales and use tax by one-half of a percentage point. That would apply to all business transactions, not just the construction of wind farms. The other tax bill eventually would effectively eliminate much of the local tax windfall that accompanies wind-farm development.
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."
Small companies he called “flippers,” like to come into an area like Fall River County, promise local landowners big returns on allowing them to site wind or solar farms on their ground. But the only thing they’re after, Kaan said, is energy tax credit money and tying up land so other energy companies can’t develop it. If flippers get a foothold with a landowner, it could be as long as 10 years before a legitimate energy developer can create a legitimate wind or solar farm on the property, he said.
The Willow Creek wind farm, planned for a site about 10 miles northeast of Newell, on Thursday won approval of the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission.
In the settlement stipulation submitted by PUC staff and Willow Creek representatives, the parties outlined 32 terms and conditions related to the construction and operation of the wind energy project. Items addressed by the stipulation included road protections, mitigation and restoration of areas and property disturbed during construction and maintenance, and communication with landowners.
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.