An Aberdeen company is looking to turn South Dakota’s wind into cash. As the ‘Dakota Power Community Wind Project’ ramps up however, some are trying to make sure no wind turbines are built in a part of southern Lincoln County.
Last July, Aberdeen based Dakota Plains Energy announced the company wants to build a wind farm near Canton and Beresford. As land is continually purchased and studies are done to ensure the project will be a success, a group of residents has formed a non-profit group to try and stop it.
They already sprinkle farmlands in southwestern Minnesota, and soon wind turbines could cover a portion of southern Lincoln County. But not everyone wants to cash in on wind.
“We would like to preserve this for our kids and our grandkids so they can come out and not look at wind mills, and so we can still farm this land,” Dean James, a board member of WE-CARE said.
For 25 years James and his wife Becky have enjoyed their peaceful, scenic, 12 acres of land just south of Canton. And he wants to save it.
“The noise levels, the effect it could have on people’s health, the shadow flicker from the blades, the stray voltage effect it has on animals and people,” James said.
James’s biggest concern is how loud the some 500 turbines will be.
“The sound level out here, we’ve done our own study, and it’s about 25 to 30 decibels,” James said.
But according to Lincoln County Ordinance, the turbines can be twice as loud.
President of Dakota Plains Energy Rob Johnson said, “The zoning law in Lincoln County says that we cannot be any louder than 60 decibels at the property line away from the turbines, and that’s probably what you and I are talking at right now.”
Johnson went on to say the concerns James has, are worries of the past.
“The technology in wind turbines has changed,” Johnson said. “A lot of the issues that people bring up that’s, that, older wind farm technology and that was a long time ago.”
James said while the price may seem nice and green energy is good, landowners need to take a step back and think about the future.
“In a few years we are going to be gone and the kids and grandkids are going to have to live with things because this contract is 50 years,” James said.
Twenty-five thousand acres have already been purchased for project, which is slated to be up and running by 2018. If built, the wind farm will connect with a line that will run from Joliet, Ill. to O’Brien County, IA.
A meeting will be held next Thursday by WE-CARE to inform land owners of the cons of the wind farm.
It takes place at the Hudson Community Center located at 200 6th Street. The meeting begins at 7 p.m.