Articles from South Dakota
The Hughes County Commission, taking pages from Hyde County, has amended siting requirements for wind energy towers in the county. Significant testimony both for and against the requirements was presented to Commissioners Monday night.
The wind-energy industry has seen growth in South Dakota in recent years. But for more projects to move forward, a new report says local governments and developers need to be diligent in sorting out zoning issues.
A company official said the equipment has been added to about 15 other turbines and said all 87 would have the equipment by a September 15 deadline the commission had set. ...Commissioner Nelson cautioned the company that the commission could take action if the company didn’t meet the deadline.
That affidavit stated Prevailing Wind Park agreed to ensure wind turbines constructed in Charles Mix County met a number of criteria related to noise, lighting, shadow flicker and ice. Among the criteria specified were that noise levels from turbines were not to exceed 43 dBA without a waiver at residences of those who weren't participating in the project and that either control systems would automatically shut down turbines or Prevailing Wind Park would do so manually when ice conditions were identified. Powers and Petrik asserted in their affidavit that those noise and ice criteria are not being met,
Incredible photos have revealed the final resting place of massive wind turbine blades that cannot be recycled, and are instead heaped up in piles in landfills. The municipal landfill in Casper, Wyoming, is the repository of at least 870 discarded blades, and one of the few locations in the country that accepts the massive fiberglass objects.
Broyhill referred to a number of books, studies and documentaries she said show the wind energy industry isn't as promising as supporters say. Broyhill talked about deceptive negotiating tactics when companies seek access to landowners' property. She also doesn't consider wind farms too environmentally friendly, given the tons of concrete and steel required for their construction and the fossil fuels burned by trucks to transport and build the turbines.
A 60-day window starts July 1 for a South Dakota wind-power farm to show that the combined sound from its 57 turbines doesn’t exceed 40 decibels at the homes of anyone who’s not participating in the project. The state Public Utilities Commission voted 2-1 on Wednesday to continue requiring verification from Prevailing Wind Park. The project is in Bon Homme, Charles Mix and Hutchinson counties.
Hanson was the most critical of the plan to delay the compliance period, especially as it affected non-participating property owners. Hanson also took issue with Agrimonti’s argument that the wind farm has not shown non-compliance, or that stipulating that turbines closest to the non-participating property owners be turned off would cause a financial hardship, as Agrimonti argued. “Obviously, if they have not tested those turbines, then they can’t show they are in compliance," Hanson said. "I would say it’s a superfluous argument, but it’s an interesting one. … Non-participants should not be the ones that carry the burden because someone from out of South Dakota can’t carry out the compliance.”
The hearing was about the condition that the PUC imposed on Crowned Ridge/Next Era in the permit. They were to install low noise trailing edge blades on all turbines. They didn’t, and they got caught. They also got caught erecting towers taller than permitted, generators bigger than permitted along with a host of allegations about noise and shadow flicker violations. ...Crowned Ridge’s excuse was it was too cold, they didn’t order them early enough, as Commissioner Hanson compared it to “the dog ate my homework” excuse.
The next section states that no public notice or public hearing is required through the board of adjustment in the case of special permitted use processes. That board—when considering a project—will only investigate if the specified special use criteria are met.
The risk to the lake and the richly diverse wildlife that traverse it is among the reasons the Lake Erie Foundation has come out publicly opposed to a proposed offshore wind turbine development titled “Icebreaker Wind.” Lipaj was asked to lead a discussion regarding the topic at the Marblehead Peninsula Chamber of Commerce’s community business update meeting this week.
Public Utilities Commission Chairman Gary Hanson wasn’t impressed with NextEra’s management of the project and failure to explain certain aspects of the project during previous hearings. “The compliance with the permit is foundation. A name plate, sound and flicker — these are not new to the process,” Hanson said. "At the very least this needs to be deferred until we get some answers.” Hanson said if the decisions isn’t deferred, his other option would be to deny the waiver.
I want to compliment Bob Mercer on fully adopting Internet journalism. His December 20 report on Crowned Ridge Wind’s interesting urgent request to the Public Utilities Commission for a waiver of operating conditions demonstrates perfectly how to integrate hyperlinks into good reporting.
The contract however calls for a penalty of $75,000 per day if the project in Codington and Grant counties isn’t running before January 1. The difficulty is Crowned Ridge needs the commission to temporarily suspend one of the permit requirements. That condition calls for low-noise tailing-edge attachments on the blades of all 87 turbines.
Commissioner John Claggett said he was “deluged” with calls, asking why the county would accept wind turbines when the commission has not allowed wind turbines to be built in the county. He said governing bodies aren’t doing enough to hold wind energy companies and supporters accountable. “I’m getting asked, ‘We don’t have active wind farms here, why do we bring that in?'" he said.
A crane tipped over at a construction site where wind turbines are being erected for the Prevailing Wind Park about 10 miles southwest of Tripp Wednesday morning. ...The turbines are planned to have a maximum height of 590 feet and a maximum rotor diameter of 449 feet.
Construction manager Scott Creech confirmed an incident occurred Wednesday in Bon Homme County. However, he declined to provide more details on what caused the tipping of the crane, which was shown lying on the ground in social media photos. ...Creech also declined to confirm the crane’s height. However, Ronnie Hornstra, president of Prevailing Wind LLC, has told the Press & Dakotan "two of the only three mammoth cranes this size in the United States are on the project."
The South Dakota Board of Economic Development stepped off its normal path Tuesday. A majority of board members voted against a reinvestment payment that owners of Triple H Wind Farm had sought for the Hyde County project.
The wind energy industry isn't immune to cyclical replacement, with turbine blades needing to be replaced after a decade or two in use. That has wind energy producers looking for places to accept the blades on their turbines that need to be replaced.
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.