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Wind energy boost - new project for South Dakota

Wind energy boost - new project for South Dakota

By Scout Nelson

Chicago-based Invenergy, through its subsidiary Deuel Harvest Wind Energy South, has submitted an application to construct a wind farm in northeastern South Dakota.

The proposed project would encompass 54 square miles of private land near Brandt, Deuel County, and include up to 68 turbines with an estimated cost of $621 million.

This new project, distinct from the previously completed 109-turbine Deuel Harvest Wind Farm (now owned by Southern Power), would be roughly six miles south of its predecessor.

Additionally, it would border the existing Tatanka Ridge wind farm on its southwest side. If approved and built, Deuel County would see its wind turbine count rise to 233.

With a potential output of 250 megawatts, the new wind farm would contribute to South Dakota's already impressive wind energy capacity, currently ranking 13th nationally at 3,462 megawatts (according to the American Wind Power Association).

The South Dakota Public Utilities Commission has opened a window for public participation. Until August 27th, individuals with a vested interest in the project can apply for "intervenor" status, granting them the right to participate in hearings, submit motions, request information, and engage further in the permitting process.

Invenergy emphasizes their commitment to working with willing landowners, stating in the application that they will not utilize eminent domain (land acquisition through legal force). Instead, they plan to secure the project area through long-term, voluntary lease and easement agreements with private landowners.

The project is anticipated to generate significant economic benefits for the region. Invenergy estimates $78 million in payments to landowners over the next 30 years, along with $38 million in property tax revenue for local governments during the same timeframe. Additionally, the project is expected to create 243 construction jobs and eight permanent operational positions.

This application comes after previous challenges faced by Invenergy regarding special exception permits issued by Deuel County for their prior wind farm project. However, those permits were ultimately upheld by the state Supreme Court.

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Categories: South Dakota, Energy

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