South Dakota is the fifth windiest state in the country – at least that’s what Rob Johnson of Dakota Plains Energy told the Clay County Commissioners at Tuesday’s meeting.
The Dakota Power and Community Wind want to take that wind and use it to produce energy and recently completed the Campbell County wind farm with 55 wind turbines. The energy produced at that wind farm is sent to New York.
“South Dakota is a very windy state,” Johnson said. “But, our problem is that we don’t need it because of what the population is.”
South eastern South Dakota has some of the best winds in the state by proposing a wind farm northeast corner of Clay County to send to the east coast, where the cost of energy is almost twice as much.
“It’s a great economic opportunity,” Johnson said.
He proposed a community wind project, Dakota Power and Community Wind, using all local investors. Currently, the board is made up of all Lincoln and Yankton county residents.
The first step in the project would be to build a meteorology tower to measure wind speed and velocity. A number of towers have already been placed in Lincoln and Union.
“All that does is give us data to tell us how good the wind is,” Johnson said. “That’s how you figure out where to put the wind turbines. The wind engineers take the data and crunch it and tell us where the best wind is.”
Once those locations are found, Dakota Power and Community Wind will ask the land owners to use their land for the project with no guarantee anything would be placed on the land, or they could get a turbine.
“They could do whatever they want with their land, all we ask is they don’t disturb the wind,” Johnson said.
Landowners who agree to the project are awarded in some way whether or not a turbine is placed on their land.
“If you sing up in the footprint of the project, whether you get anything or not, you’re going to get something,” Johnson said. “If you have a turbine on your land, you get 70 percent of the revenues of that turbine. If you’re somebody who doesn’t have a turbine, but you have a route collector system going through your property or when you have a road you get 20 percent. And if your neighbor signed up but for whatever reason, maybe you have wetlands and there’s nothing we can do, you still get 10 percent. So, everybody who participates gets something.”
A turbine would take up about an acre and a half of land and land owners will have no responsibility on maintenance or taxes for the turbines on their property.
The turbines in Clay County are expected to produce $18,000-$19,000 per turbine per year depending on efficiency.
The Clay and Yankton County Commissioners also held a joint meeting as the Clay/Yankton Ditch Board at Toby’s Lounge in Meckling on Tuesday afternoon.
The Clay/Yankton Ditch board elected to keep the Ditch Levy for 2016 at 8 percent and the Clay Creek Ditch Board elected to keep the Ditch Levy at 40 percent for the Clay Creek Ditch Cleanout Project.
Other topics discussed:
City engineer Jose Dominguez had to move the application regarding the right of way project on 464 Avenue because utilities was not notified of the public hearing held by Clay County on Feb. 9, which is required by the state.
A weight limit resolution to enforce weight limits on Clay County roads by the highway patrol was approved
Star Energy was accepted for the propane bids at 79 cents per gallon and Brunick Service was accepted as the diesel quote at $1.34 per gallon at the Vermillion and Wakonda shops
The commissioners approved welfare case #C16-04
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