Articles from South Dakota

SD Public Utilities Commission issues $30,000 max fine for southeastern wind farm's permit violation

Commissioner Kristie Fiegen said the fact that Prevailing Wind violated one of many conditions in their permits so early in their construction was a major concern -- especially for a project of its size. ...in order to avoid a costly civil lawsuit. Prevailing Wind will pay the maximum fine of $10,000 per day of the violation, totaling $30,000. The money will go to the permanent school fund.
15 May 2019

New law will streamline wind and solar energy permits

“This major legislation doubles the amount of time citizens have to prepare for and resolve issues during wind evidentiary hearings,” said PUC Chairman Gary Hanson. “It gives citizens a stronger negotiating position, and guarantees that all parties to a docket are entitled to an evidentiary hearing. The new law also provides local governments with more influence in wind and solar development.”
22 Mar 2019

Naked in the wind

In the eyes of a lawyer, which is not very romantic, when a wind farm contains steel, wires, underground cabling, electrical components and concrete we have potential legal liability.  Wind farm infrastructure is not owned by the landowner.  It is owned by the wind farm operator.  A landowner has no right to control or interfere with a wind farm. Who may be liable and to what extent is always an interesting legal question.  A court calls this the allocation of liability.  It is best not to become involved in a question on the allocation of liability.  General liability insurance coverage is one way in which liability risks are reduced.
12 Mar 2019

The legislature’s failing grade on wind farms

Financial decommissioning safeguards, if in place, would have a considerable effect on the interest of local landowners, farmers, ranchers and neighbors in proposed wind farms. It is a common response to a proposed wind farm for a landowner to say, 'Oh yes they will be here today – but gone tomorrow.' If 'tomorrow' comes don't landowners, farmers, ranchers and the neighbors of a wind farm have a right to the proper and complete process of decommissioning?
18 Feb 2019

Public meeting held for Pass Creek Wind

A public meeting was held on Monday, December 10, 2018, at the Martin Activity Center to discuss plans for Pass Creek Wind, a utility-scale wind energy project planned for Bennett County north of Martin. Approximately 35 people attended the meeting including Bennett County Commissioners, local ranchers and members of the Oglala Sioux Tribe. 
11 Dec 2018

Place moratorium on wind farms

Both the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) and Department of Health are playing Russian Roulette with the health of their constituents if projects permitted in 2018 use ten year old data for guidelines on safety and quality of life. Inadequate protection by policy makers will result in jeopardized public health and exorbitant legal expenses to defend inadequate guidelines based on outdated data.
10 Nov 2018

Letter: Gone with the wind

We pay for these projects through taxes and increased utility rates for power we don’t need or use. People won’t know what hit them until the towers are built. That’s too late. These sacrifice quality of life, health, safety and residential property values for the greed of a few.
20 Sep 2018

Wind farm wins OK

The commissioners’ approval of the three motions Tuesday didn’t mean they were approving the wind farm at this time. Instead, they decided the project was in compliance with the county zoning ordinance, which takes the process to the next level. The commissioners were split in their votes.
22 Aug 2018

Haul road agreement becomes untangled

The knotty issue of a haul road agreement between Apex Energy and Codington County got a bit untangled at Tuesday’s county commission meeting. The tentative agreement is designed to allow work to proceed on the Dakota Range I and II Wind Project and protect the county against potential road degradation during the expected 30-year lifespan of the project.
22 Aug 2018

The problem with wind energy ordinances

Ordinances governing wind energy systems, which are to be developed within a county, have a wide ranging effect on the local geography and economy.  Local participation in ordinance drafting is a great advantage of county lawmaking.  This leaves an opportunity for county commissioners to make the public, its local residents, “partners” in this lawmaking.  There should be little uncertainty in ordinance language, it should be transparent, and the end product should favor open public participation in wind farm applications.
20 Aug 2018

Bon Homme County faces wind farm decision

The South Dakota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) held a public hearing on the wind farm last month in Avon, attended by about 200 people. The four-hour meeting generated testimony from both sides for the controversial project. ...The PUC expects to make a final decision on Prevailing Wind by October.
8 Aug 2018

http://www.windaction.org/posts?location=South+Dakota&type=Article
back to top