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News » US » Go-ahead given for $380m South Dakota wind farm » published 13 Jul 2018

Go-ahead given for $380m South Dakota wind farm

The construction permit has been granted for the US$380m Dakota Range wind farm.

The wind energy facility in Grant and Codington counties will be capable of producing up to 302.4MW of electricity. The project is expected to include up to 72 turbines and associated facilities located within an approximately 44,500-acre project area 10 miles northeast of Watertown.

South Dakota Public Utilities Commission imposed numerous conditions in its approval of the permit. Aircraft detection lighting, dealing with ice on turbine blades and monitoring for bird deaths are among issues addressed in the 42 conditions.

“As commissioners in a quasi-judicial role, we are bound to follow what is spelled out before us in state law and to base our decision on facts and evidence,” said PUC chairperson Kristie Fiegen explained. “The conditions we arrived at address landowner protections and the applicant’s obligations.”

PUC vice chairman Gary Hanson added: “The comprehensive conditions we imposed on the permit will ensure the facility is built and operated in a manner that is responsible and fair to all parties as well as the environment.”

“State law lays out the criteria in which a permit must be granted. I believe this project has met that burden,” said commissioner Chris Nelson.

Dakota Range filed its application with the PUC on 24 January 2018. State law requires the commission to make a decision within six months of receiving an application for a wind energy facility application. A public input hearing was held in Waverly in March and an evidentiary hearing was held in Pierre in June.

Dakota Range expects to complete the facility in 2021.


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This article was published on 13 Jul 2018 (last updated on 13 Jul 2018).

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