[ exact phrase in "" • results by date ]

[ Google-powered • results by relevance ]


News Home

Subscribe to RSS feed

Add NWW headlines to your site (click here)

Sign up for daily updates

Keep Wind Watch online and independent!

Donate $10

Donate $5

Selected Documents

All Documents

Research Links


Press Releases


Publications & Products

Photos & Graphics


Allied Groups

Eilers: New law may hurt local wind farm project  

Credit:  By Milo Dailey, BCP staff, Butte County Post, rapidcityjournal.com 4 March 2012 ~~

BELLE FOURCHE – The developer for a Belle Fourche area wind farm said South Dakota’s pro-wind farm bill now on the governor’s desk should have a lower threshold for refunds from state tax on construction costs.

Mark Eilers said that as it stands now, House Bill 1228 will hurt smaller projects such as the one northwest of Belle Fourche.

The Rapid City native said his concern is for the $50 million capital costs threshold before the refunds would kick in.

He said Friday, March 2, 2012, “Our Belle Fourche project is targeted at 20 megawatts and will fall under the $50 million threshold.”

Eilers, president of Renewable Solutions of Minneapolis, added, “I am not sure how the $50 million mark was set, but it will hurt the smaller wind projects in South Dakota.”

A spokesman in the office of Gov. Dennis Daugaard said Friday that the bill was on the governor’s desk, but that it would likely be one or two weeks before a decision whether to sign it.

The Belle Fourche wind farm is still in the works, he said.

“We continue to feel it is not a matter of ‘if it will be built,’ but rather a matter of ‘when it will be built,’” Eilers said.

Black Hills Power had taken over the project, but apparently dropped it in 2011 after the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission would not allow it to be added to their rate base prior to construction.

In many states, regulators first give a utility a certificate of need for a new plant. After it is built, the utility applies for rate increases to cover construction costs of a plant that regulators supported.

South Dakota law has a single step. Power companies build a power plant, and then ask for rate hikes to cover the cost.

The Black Hills Power filing for the first large West River wind development listed an estimated cost of $38 million.

The “construction-ready” project was developed by Eilers. The company conducted exploratory research and obtained easements from landowners on the 4,200-acre site.

Eilers said Friday he recently heard about HB1228.

“Small projects like ours continue to bring tremendous economic benefits and can be a better fit into the rural communities,” Eilers said.

The current bill that passed both houses of the legislature, Eilers said, would discourage smaller developments such as the one planned for Belle Fourche.

“That is exactly what would happen if this legislation were to become law,” he said. “From my perspective, small wind power projects, say 10 megawatt at $20 million, are a desirable goal for economic development in the state and should be encouraged with support legislation.”

Source:  By Milo Dailey, BCP staff, Butte County Post, rapidcityjournal.com 4 March 2012

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.

Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding
Donate $5 PayPal Donate


News Watch Home

Get the Facts Follow Wind Watch on Twitter

Wind Watch on Facebook


© National Wind Watch, Inc.
Use of copyrighted material adheres to Fair Use.
"Wind Watch" is a registered trademark.