S.D. PUC Approves Basin Electric Wind Project

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South Dakota's Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has approved PrairieWinds SD 1, a 165 MW wind farm that will be located in parts of Jerauld, Aurora and Brule counties. Basin Electric Power Cooperative expects to begin construction of the facility, which is scheduled to be operational by March 2011.

The project will be constructed near Crow Lake and will include up to 110 wind turbines and a 13-mile 230 kV transmission line, as well as other associated facilities.

Basin Electric filed its application to construct the wind farm with the PUC in December 2009. Nearly 100 people attended a public input hearing hosted by the PUC in March. A PUC staff team of one attorney and three analysts negotiated a settlement agreement with Basin Electric representatives regarding the construction of the wind farm.

PUC Chairman Dusty Johnson noted the economic impact the wind farm will have on the rural area.

‘Easement payments to landowners, taxes paid to the counties and state, and the jobs created by the construction and operation of this wind farm will have a significant and welcome effect,’ he says.

The commission unanimously voted in favor of the agreement at its June 15 meeting. The agreement specified the terms and conditions the company will follow before, during and after the construction of the wind farm. There were no intervenors in the case.

SOURCE: South Dakota Public Utilities Commission

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