Library filed under General from South Dakota
Nothing illustrates the distance between the political culture and reality in modern governments so much as the billions invested in wind power. Presumably the purpose of such investments is to a) reduce greenhouse emissions and b) reduce dependence on fossil fuels. The plain fact that it increases both seems not to have bothered anyone.
As a wind-turbine factory in Pipestone, Minn., lays off most of its workers, competitors in South Dakota and Iowa are booming. ...The stark differences among the three Midwestern manufacturers show how business can blow hot and cold in what is still a young and growing wind-power industry.
All of the tax credits that help wind power become affordable to consumers are directed in hopes of having tax benefits, but the cooperatives don't pay taxes and haven't been eligible. But as part of the federal stimulus package, the Treasury Department created a renewable energy grant program that provided an opportunity for South Dakota Wind Partners to develop a community-based wind project so average people could invest.
Wind tower production in the 115,000-square-foot Tower Tech Systems building in the Corson Development Park remains on hold because the company hasn't secured enough contracts, according to a company spokesman.
A company that makes and repairs wind turbine blades said Wednesday it is laying off about one-third of the work force at its plant in the eastern South Dakota town of Howard. Knight & Carver Wind Group Inc. is laying off 16 of the Howard plant's 55 workers this week, and the firm might temporarily close the plant.
Gov. Mike Rounds has signed into law a bill aimed at giving South Dakota landowners more protection when they grant easements allowing construction of wind towers on their property.
A small wind turbine won't be going up on Aberdeen public school grounds, school board members decided Monday. The board heard an update on the proposed wind turbine, part of the national Wind for Schools program, from Bob Pitz, the school district's director of operations. ...Assistant Superintendent Becky Guffin said the turbine wouldn't impact that many students. Financially, she said, the money could be better spent elsewhere.
A state legislator wants to require registration of locations where anemometers are placed to measure wind speeds in South Dakota. Rep. Jason Frerichs, D-Wilmot, said the registry would help crop pilots avoid the towers when they're spraying fields from the air. He said land owners in an area also would benefit by knowing who's conducting research there for possible development of wind farms.
A bill that would lengthen the amount of time to develop a wind energy project to as long as 50 years meets with some concern by one industry official. House Assistant Majority Leader Kristi Noem, R-Castlewood, wants to change the current limit, which is five years, for developers to have an easement - the right to use another person's land for a stated purpose - on wind projects. The bill is HB1263.
The Aberdeen City Council is considering an ordinance that would prohibit wind turbines within city limits and the 1-mile jurisdiction. The Council approved first reading of the ordinance on Monday. Second reading and final adoption could come next week.
A possible wind farm in eastern South Dakota will primarily be in Day and Clark counties, a spokesman for NextEra Energy Resources said Tuesday. ...Day County Commissioner Mark Wattier said the wind farm likely will be built mostly in southwestern Day County and northwestern Clark County.
As a series of South Dakota Farmers Union meetings approaches its end, John Kerstiens says he's hearing a good deal from landowners in favor of removing a confidentiality clause in wind-farm contracts that prevents neighbors from comparing offers.
As more and more wind developers start looking to South Dakota for future projects, landowners are becoming more astute in dealing with potential projects, according to Dusty Johnson, chairman of the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission.
As the number of wind turbines scattered along the South Dakota skyline continues to grow, moving the energy they provide out of the state requires a fundamental change. Dusty Johnson of the state Public Utilities Commission puts it simply: A local power transmission system has to become national. Trying to transmit wind power to more populous states is not a new problem. But when federal regulators recently approved generous incentives for a proposed 3,000-mile, high-voltage transmission system, they kept alive a potential solution to at least part of the problem.
South Dakota Public Utilities Commission member Steve Kolbeck says a decision is pending on the $700 million, 306-megawatt Buffalo Ridge II wind farm proposed for land in Brookings and Deuel counties. The commission held a public hearing Wednesday on the project, which would cover 77,000 acres of land and could include 204 wind turbines.
It's a major player in President Barack Obama's plan to fuel the economy, but new projects this year to capture electricity from wind are expected to slow considerably because of the global financial crisis.
A 306-megawatt wind farm proposed for 77 acres in Brookings and Deuel counties would nearly triple the state's total production of wind energy - adding enough capacity to power 148,000 Midwestern homes. Oregon-based Iberdrola Renewables Inc. wants to build Buffalo Ridge II close to its two existing farms near White. Buffalo Ridge II would join the 54-megawatt Minn-Dakota farm that came online in April and the 55-megawatt Buffalo Ridge I, which should be completed in early 2009.
Financing for wind farms has disappeared, and fewer companies will be able to develop the kind of mega projects needed to feed the growing demand for energy, said Reyad Fezzani, chief executive officer of BP's wind and solar operations at the recent Dow Jones Alternative Energy Innovations conference. ...To weather the downturn, BP and other companies will have to fund those wind farms and solar-power plants using equity financing. They then can refinance when the credit crunch eases, Fezzani said.
The MinnDakota Wind Power Project near White is set to expand by one-third. Iberdrola Renewables, of Portland, Ore., on Friday announced a $100 million expansion, called the Buffalo Ridge Wind Power Project. It would add 50 megawatts of potential power production from about 50 new turbines. There already are 100 turbines in the original MinnDakota wind farm capable of producing 150 megawatts.
Iberdrola Renewables announced today that it has signed a lease agreement with the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe, and some adjacent landowners, to develop a 225 megawatt (MW) wind farm, the first such project on the tribe's land. Studies are under way. Assuming all tribal and federal permitting processes proceed quickly, the project could be online as early as 2010 and would provide enough energy for 79,000 homes each year, according to American Wind Energy Association estimates. "We are delighted to be working with the Lower Brule Tribe on this important project," said Tim Seck, Director of Development for Iberdrola.