Library filed under Zoning/Planning from South Dakota
Gov. Mike Rounds says he wants 20 percent of South Dakota's power to come from wind energy by 2030. And places like, Lawrence County, are working on wind turbine ordinances to help achieve that goal. But those regulations will only apply to property outside of city limits. That's why Spearfish city planners are working on their own preliminary wind turbine regulations. ..."What we're trying to do is balance that need for renewable energy resources in South Dakota with what we consider to be our most premiere resource, and that is the scenic beauty of the Black Hills. Not an easy problem to solve," Jayna Watson, the Spearfish city planner said.
It's our turn now, Spearfish City Planner Jayna Watson said about when it comes to erecting wind generators within the city limits. Spearfish Planning and Zoning Commissioners met Wednesday to discuss the future of wind energy. This discussion comes on the heels of news that every school district in South Dakota received a letter from the Public Utilities Commission requesting administrators to consider constructing wind generators on their property. Watson explained that it is part of an initiative to have 20 percent of South Dakota's energy come from wind power by 2030.
Work continues on crafting an ordinance relative to wind power generation even as the Lawrence County Planning and Zoning department hears more plans for wind turbines at locations around the county. In the last few months several landowners have approached the commission to tell them of plans to erect wind turbines to ease reliance on coal-generated power. But at that time, no ordinance existed that dealt specifically with wind turbines. So while landowners started jumping through the hoops set before them, county attorney Bruce Outka and planning and zoning director Amber Vogt began working on a draft ordinance that would address the turbines with regard to height, placement and noise.
But we also wonder if the time is coming soon when the view of windmills will no longer be a curiosity but an annoyance. Imagine dozens, or even hundreds, of wind turbines in this area. We love the beauty of our region and think of how it would look if such tall turbines were on the horizon at sunset, or partially block the view of a favorite lake or slough. This isn't to say we don't support the wind energy industry. We do. But just like the time came to establish zoning laws for livestock facilities or for manufacturing facilities, we think the time has come to establish statewide zoning for wind towers.
The Brookings County Planning and Zoning Commission last week gave the OK to Nativas Energy to build a 200-megawatt, 100-turbine wind farm southeast of White. The project in Sherman Township, called the White Wind Farm, already had approval from the state Public Utilities Commission, and the county was Navitas' last hurdle. Construction is expected to begin in 2008.
South Dakota's wind energy potential is being capitalized by a new wind farm that's springing up in McPherson County. Sixty turbines are being erected north of Long lake in north-central South Dakota. Another 60 are going up just across the border in Dickey County, North Dakota. The Tatanka wind farm is expected to be completed by the end of the year. The electricity will be fed into the Montana-Dakota Utilities system. The project is slated to produce about 90 megawatts in South Dakota and 90 in North Dakota. One megawatt will supply more than 400 homes.
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) A big wind farm in east central South Dakota got the go-ahead today from the Public Utilities Commission. It approved a construction permit for a wind farm of up to 103 turbines southeast of White. It would be built by Navitas Energy, a Minneapolis developer of wind farms.
WESSINGTON SPRINGS, S.D. (AP) -- Heartland Consumers Power District has partnered with the Australian firm that's buying NorthWestern Corp. and has agreed to purchase electricity produced by turbines at what will be one of the state's largest wind farms. The wind farm will spread over about 3,000 acres just south of Wessington Springs. Jim Burg, Wessington Springs mayor and former state Public Utilities Commission member, said preparation for construction could start soon. "I think you'll see a lot of activity this year as far as testing soils and surveying and all those types of things," he said. "You'll see some of that happening anytime but I'm told that construction won't begin until 2008." The project includes 34 large wind turbines, each 262 feet tall with a rotor diameter of 253 feet. Currently, the largest wind farm in the state, near Highmore, has 27 turbines. Other projects already in the works could end up being larger.
A company that is planning a wind power project across the North Dakota-South Dakota border wants to construct a 10-mile power line to connect the turbines to North Dakota’s electrical grid, state regulators say. The Public Service Commission on Wednesday accepted Tatanka Wind Power LLC’s letter of intent to build the Dickey County power line, which the company hopes to begin constructing in March. Company filings estimate the project’s cost at $7.3 million.
With all the wind in South Dakota, seeing more wind turbines on the horizon would only seem to make sense. Xcel Energy Spokesman, Kent Larson, says “As you all know South Dakota has been called the Saudi Arabia of wind with tremendous potential to provide clean, reliable energy to our customers. ” Thursday’s announcement of a new 150-Megawatt wind power project, set to share the border between South Dakota and Minnesota, is significant because that potential is slowly becoming reality. Gary Hanson, with South Dakota Public Utilities Commission, says, “This means the breaking of the ground and the pioneering on the eastern side is just going to grow exponentially.”
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) -- Senator Tim Johnson says construction can proceed on a wind energy farm in the Brookings area. He says the Minn-Dakota wind farm would be the largest wind energy project in South Dakota.
AGENCY VILLAGE, S.D. (AP) - The Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate is moving forward with plans to develop a wind farm on tribal trust lands in northeast South Dakota. The tribe has hired the engineering and consulting firm Black and Veatch of Overland Park, Kan., to help develop the project. Three company representatives explained the plans at a community meeting Thursday. Interim tribal chairman Jerry Flute said he would like to see the project focus on producing electricity for local use.