Library from South Dakota
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.
Court records show the scam involved acquiring land near Casper and in Butte County, South Dakota, to satisfy investors that the projects were moving forward with construction of wind farms. Organizers put up signs at the South Dakota site and took pictures of contractors they hired to push dirt around to make it appear construction was ongoing.
A group of concerned citizens met in Newell, South Dakota Saturday to discuss a proposed wind farm in their area. Wind Quarry Operations LLC of Colorado has already filed an application with the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) for the Willow Creek Wind Energy Facility.
Crossing the threshold from a state with wind to spare and a state with wind to sell won't be simple. Especially when its met with community resistance. Hundreds of residents support We-Care South Dakota, a non-profit group committed to keeping turbines off the south Lincoln countryside.
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.
South Dakota has enormous potential for wind energy development. It ranks sixth in the United States for potential in generating electricity from wind, according to a laboratory associated with the Department of Energy. Just step out onto the plains and observe. The state is using only less than a fraction of a percent of this total capacity (.17 percent to be exact). This fraction of a percent produced 26 percent of all electricity produced in South Dakota in 2013 — only Iowa produces a larger share of its total electricity from wind.
The U.S. Geological Survey on Monday said wind farms "placed in prime wildlife habitat in North and South Dakota can influence the distribution of several species of grassland birds for years after construction, including species whose populations are in serious decline."
"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."
As Lincoln County officials write rules for wind towers into their zoning ordinance, landowners are split over whether a wind energy project is right for them. The proposed Dakota Power Community Wind project is still in the testing phase, but it has met much opposition already.
According to the FAA, the pilot was familiar with the accident area. Specifically, the pilot was familiar with the wind turbine farm and had expressed his concern about the wind turbine farm to the FAA Flight Standards District Office in Rapid City, South Dakota. The details of his concerns were not available.
NTSB report highlights problems that could have led to deaths of four area cattlemen Unclear sectional maps and an inoperable light on top of a wind turbine are two items highlighted in an investigative report into a plane crash that killed four area cattlemen south of Highmore last year.
Backers of a wind farm will need to re-start the application process for five test towers after the Lincoln County Commission ruled that the company had applied for wrong permits.
Dakota Power Community decided to put up a meteorological tower to test the potential for wind power in the Lincoln County. The temporary tower is supposed to be the first of many and would collect data for proposed wind farm projects in the Bereseford, South Dakota area, but some folks who own land on the proposed site are looking to stop the project in its tracks.
Hubner said he's against the project for two main reasons. First, the turbines, he said, would ruin the landscape of his land to possibly drive down property values in the area. Second, the ownership of the first wind farm project, Project Beethoven, was sold to a multinational company that doesn't have the best interest of Bon Homme County in mind, Hubner said.
Winnie Peterson is president of We-Care SD, a nonprofit group that organized in opposition to the wind project. She said they don’t believe wind farms should be built in populated areas. Sioux Falls and the north Lincoln County communities continue to grow, she pointed out, and the southern part of the county is developing with more agribusiness.
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.
Fierce opposition from neighbors shot down an Aberdeen company's attempt to gauge south Lincoln County's wind capacity for a potentially massive turbine farm last week. Critics told the county's planning and zoning board they were worried about property values, health impacts and nuisances from what could become a 500-megawatt wind project covering hundreds of square miles.