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.
Articles filed under Legal from South Dakota
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.
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.
Special thanks to Attorney David Ganje for contributing this informative essay on wind energy leases.
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.
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.
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.
Court records show the scam involved acquiring land near Casper and in Butte County, South Dakota, to satisfy investors that the projects were moving forward with construction of wind farms. Organizers put up signs at the South Dakota site and took pictures of contractors they hired to push dirt around to make it appear construction was ongoing.