LETCHER, S.D. – The wind was definitely blowing today, and that’s exactly what one Minnesota-based company is trying to tap into.
Juhl Energy Inc. is looking to build a wind farm in Sanborn County.
The company first approached Davison County, but was rejected because of landowner concerns.
Those concerns haven’t gone away.
“I just said, I don’t want them, and I didn’t think my neighbors would want them, which they don’t.”
That was what Mary Ann Blindauer told the Vice President of Juhl Energy when he visited her last week about constructing a wind farm near her home.
“They aren’t going to do me any good,” says Blindauer. “They’re just going to be harmful to me.”
The project would bring about 9 turbines to the area, two of which would be located near Blindauer’s home.
“They’ll be one that will shine in my bedroom, so I won’t be able to sleep,” says Blindauer. “I keep my window open, and they make a lot of noise.”
However, Juhl Energy V.P. Cory Juhl says there are multiple benefits the wind farm would bring to Sanborn County.
“There would be significant property tax payments that would be made to the state and county, and local school districts,” says Juhl. “The folks that have the turbines on the property receive a land lease, and there’s significant job creation.”
This is why the County says they aren’t ruling anything out at this time.
“Counties struggle to have enough money to operate, and we would get more tax revenue, so it would give us a boost,” says Sanborn County Auditor Diane Larson.
The $40 million dollar project is only in the pre-development stage.
Juhl Energy says Sanborn County is a good location for renewable energy because the area has good wind, and it is close to the northwestern power line that would be needed for power.
Sanborn County will hold informational meetings in the near future for landowners and County officials to talk about the project.
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