A Florida energy developer has suspended the permitting process for a 150-megawatt wind project in Hyde County, citing uncertainty about a power customer.
Despite the development, NextEra Energy still considers the project active, company spokesman Steve Stengel said.
“We have not canceled the project,” he said. “We are putting the (environmental impact statement) on hold until we have greater clarity around a couple of issues, one being identifying a customer for the project.”
NextEra operates three wind farms in South Dakota: a 99-megawatt project in Day County, a 40-megawatt project in Hyde County and a 51-megawatt project in Jerauld County.
Earlier this year, NextEra put the brakes on an environmental review for Crowned Ridge, the company’s proposed 150-megawatt project in Codington and Grant counties, to look at a different interconnection point.
Steve Wegman, who has been executive director of the South Dakota Wind Energy Association and will start a new job next month as an analyst at the South Dakota Renewable Energy Association, said the broader point is that the state’s wind industry “is up against the wall.”
Until new transmission is built to open new markets for the state’s wind output, developers are stuck, he said.
“There’s 100 things you can do with a bayonet,” he said, “but you can’t sit on it. Same thing with wind.”
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