Library from South Dakota
The blade on a General Electric 1.5 megawatt (MW) wind turbine at the Wessington Springs Wind Farm was shredded in high winds. The Babcock and Brown installation became operational in late fall 2008 and includes 34 towers.
But reining in greenhouse gases globally could end up costing the Miiller's - and everyone else in the state - an extra $38 a month in higher electric bills. It's but one possible consequence for South Dakotans in the discussion about the American Clean Energy and Security Act, the landmark climate legislation being considered by Congress.
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.
South Dakota Public Utilities Commissioner Dusty Johnson said the general consensus is that South Dakota should move faster to bring certain industries — wind farms, for instance — to the state. The amount of channeled wind power in the state has increased 700 percent in the last 18 months, Johnson said, and work is continuing to lay groundwork for new wind farm projects.
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.
The state Public Utilities Commission has made it easier for small power generators to get their renewable energy flowing onto the electric grid. Called the South Dakota Small Generation Interconnection Rules, Thursday's decision simplifies who can connect to the electric grid and how. It allows electric customers to be producers, too, by connecting clean energy systems such as solar panels and wind turbines to the grid.
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.
The South Dakota Public Utilities Commission has approved a construction permit for the $700 million Buffalo Ridge II wind farm planned for Brookings and Deuel counties. All three commissioners agreed Tuesday to approve the 306-megawatt project, which could include up to 204 turbines.
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.
Alternate sites near Winner and White Lake are being considered for a wind farm that would have at least 100 turbines. ...One possible location consists of 37,000 acres about 15 miles north of White Lake, including land in Brule, Aurora and Jerauld counties.
The Grant County Commission has passed a rewritten ordinance dealing with the transmission of electricity from wind farms proposed for the area. Officials say the ordinance is in response to developers' interest in building wind turbines along the Coteau Ridge in the Summit area. Companies already are negotiating with landowners for easements to build turbines.
Facing a May 1 legal deadline for a permit decision, the state Public Utilities Commission gave all sides 48 hours Tuesday to identify where they disagree on the proposed Buffalo Ridge II wind-power project. Iberdrola Renewables needs a construction and operation permit from the South Dakota regulatory agency for the $620 million project, which the Spain-based company wants to start building yet this year and have in operation possibly by December 2010. ..."We have not even had a hearing yet," Rogers said. "It appears to me that it would be premature for the commission to approve this stipulation at this point, because what this stipulation actually is findings of fact and conclusions of law."
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.
Depending on whom you talk to, emerging plans to build 765,000 volt transmission lines to bring power from the "Saudi Arabia of wind" in the Dakotas to population centers in the Midwest and East Coast are either vital to the nation or a boondoggle waiting to happen. "This state has vast resources it can't use without building new power lines," says Mr. Nelson, gesturing at lines on a grid map at the East River Electric Power Cooperative in Madison, where he is manager.
"South Dakotans are generally protective of their assets and we just encourage landowners to keep that protection top-of-mind when they may be considering an easement for a wind energy facility on their property," PUC Chairman Dusty Johnson said.
The state Senate refused Monday to re-open debate on Sen. Frank Kloucek's proposed tax break for noncommercial wind-energy systems. The legislation failed on the first attempt on Friday, when Lt. Gov. Dennis Daugaard broke a 17-17 tie by voting against it. An attempt to reconsider the bill on Monday fell short 17-18, as Sen. Jim Bradford, R-Pine Ridge, switched from yes to no.
A ordinance for proposed wind energy systems fizzled Tuesday before the Lawrence County Commission. After eight months of study and recommendations the wind energy ordinance was tabled at its second reading. ,,,Commissioners need to decide what is a large or small system based on height or kilowatts produced.
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.