Articles from South Dakota
MFG broke ground on its Aberdeen plant in 2007. It will fulfill blade orders through January 2018. The company anticipates closure of the plant by February 15 of 2018.
The law firm for a company that wants to build a large wind-electricity project in Clark County now wants a waiver from state government regulators.
This week, the company canceled the 122 easements it had on file at the Register of Deeds office with landowners who’d been willing to place turbines on their properties. The termination could signal a final shuttering of the long-debated project south of Sioux Falls.
Scout Clean Energy gained a two-year advantage over competitors that would be worth “tens of millions of dollars” in tax benefits after the Boulder, Colorado-based company moved dirt at several wind-turbine sites in Hand County, commissioner Chris Nelson said.
“Don’t be playing in the dirt,” Hanson cautioned them, “until you get a permit.” ...The company moved dirt at several sites in Hand County during 2016, and did other work there too, all without the state energy-conversion permit required by South Dakota law.
The South Dakota Public Utilities Commission turned down an application Wednesday for a wind-energy complex proposed for Clark County. The regulatory panel voted 3-0 to reject Crocker Wind Farm. The project called for up to 200 turbines spread across more than 29,000 acres north of Clark.
Landowners south of Harrold, South Dakota who are opposed to a planned wind farm slated to be built on neighbors’ properties, spoke for more than 20 minutes Monday urging the Hughes County Commission to increase the distance that wind turbine towers would be required to be sited from homes. The argued that the Commission’s plan to increase the setback distance from the current 1,000 feet in the county’s zoning ordinances, to 1,400 feet wasn’t going far enough and requested a minimum 1 mile between any large windmill and any home. The Commission adopted a the 1,400 setback distance.
Commission lawyer Kristin Edwards said the docket is a matter of "first impression" for wind farms regarding such requirements as setback distances and noise levels. She said it could set precedent for future wind permits anywhere in South Dakota.
More than 40 people spoke for and against the project, which could include 200 wind turbines, each 500 feet tall with rotor diameters of 446 feet. Sixty landowners have signed onto the project, which would cover 30,000 acres in the rolling Crocker Hills. The hearing was only for the commissioners to gather input. No decision was made by the PUC and won’t be until late January 2018.
Judge Carmen Means ...denied the motion for summary judgment in an oral ruling issued with little explanation indicating she did not have enough information to make a ruling and that the decision will have to be made after hearing all the evidence.
A judge on Monday ruled in favor of the Clark County Commissioners’ decision to keep wind towers a minimum of 3,960 feet from residences. The decision could affect the outcome of the Crocker Wind Farm planned by Geronimo Energy of Minneapolis.
Consolidated Edison Development wants to provide electricity from wind turbines and be paid $60.70 per megawatt-hour. The amount reflects $11.63 of avoided carbon expense. The commission’s staff said in June that carbon costs haven’t been allowed by the commission in the past and make Con Ed’s request “unreasonable on its face.”
There's no denying it's windy in South Dakota, but South Dakotans are denying wind turbines.
After about 40 minutes of a sometimes-heated discussion involving about 20 people, the Hughes County Planning and Zoning Commission decided on Monday to go ahead with a revision of its ordinances, increasing the minimum setbacks on large wind turbines from neighboring homes. ...the county’s zoning commission’s proposed amendment that would increase the setback distance of wind turbines from a neighbor’s residence from 1,000 feet to 1,400 feet.
The vote was 57-42 percent in favor of a requirement that all turbines be placed at least a half mile from all habitable dwellings in the county. Heavy turnout from southern Lincoln County was the deciding factor, with universal support for the stricter setbacks in every city south of Tea, and the precincts closest to the proposed footprint of a 150-turbine project saw turnouts of up to 57 percent - rare for a special election.
David Janes of rural Toronto, South Dakota, said he and his late wife had built a retirement home on their South Dakota farm site 17 years ago. ...“But when the turbines are running, I can’t hear the birds. All I hear is swoosh, swoosh swoosh, like a jet plane engine.”
"What this vote does have to do with is a safe setback, a distance from a home that is occupied by people and an industrial wind turbine," Brouwer explains. ...the current half-mile setback will better protect people from the noise and health issues are associated with wind turbines.
As more wind energy projects are established in South Dakota, it’s important that developers and local officials work to identify and address community concerns around new projects. One piece to consider is crafting zoning standards that focus on citizens’ concerns while allowing for development of renewable wind energy.
Those who support stricter setbacks say the project isn’t right for such a populated area. “We make our homes and our lives here,” said Winnie Peterson, executive director of We-Care SD, which stands for Wind Energy Concerns About the Rural Environment. The group has pushed for larger setbacks and supports the commission’s new rules that are subject to the July vote.
The company behind a proposed wind farm has gathered enough signatures to challenge a new set of rules adopted by county commissioners earlier this year.