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Two wind farms may proceed without permit from S.D. regulators  

A company that’s building wind farms in Brookings County does not need permits from the state Public Utilities Commission.

The PUC made that decision Tuesday, agreeing with PPM Energy of Portland, Ore., that it is building two wind farms in the county and not one.

PPM lawyer Brett Koenecke said turbines of the MinnDakota wind farm, which sprawls into adjoining Lincoln County, Minn., will produce 54 megawatts in Brookings County, and the Buffalo Ridge wind farm will produce 55 megawatts in South Dakota.

A single wind farm exceeding 100 megawatts would need a PUC permit.

The Buffalo Ridge and MinnDakota projects will share some equipment, but they are separate wind farms, Koenecke said. The three-member commission unanimously agreed.

The commissioners noted that Brookings County officials have closely regulated the siting and construction of the wind farms.

The MinnDakota project is expected to begin churning out electricity next month, making it the largest wind farm in South Dakota.

The biggest wind farm now is an FPL Energy turbine field that began operating four years ago in Hyde County. The South Dakota Wind Energy Center has 27 turbines and a capacity of 40 megawatts.

FPL Energy is headquartered in Juno Beach, Fla.

By Joe Kafka
Associated Press Writer


6 November 2007

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

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