When it became public Prevailing Winds wind farm made a major change to go from one large wind farm to 13, it was very clear they wanted to eliminate three major steps.
No. 1: Prairie Winds is not forced to have a public meeting in Avon. They are taking away the opportunity for the public to have a voice. The public seal of South Dakota reads “Under God the People Rule.” Shame on them.
No. 2: Prairie Winds would have been forced to attend a meeting in Pierre with the PUC. Prairie Winds would have to take an oath to tell the truth when they answer questions. They don’t want to do that.
No. 3: When a wind farm is over 80 megawatts, a buyer for the electricity has to be found. Changing it to 13 small projects they can force utilities to buy the power (Federal Policy). By making this major change, Prairie Winds eliminated two public meetings for public input and they don’t have to find a buyer for the power. The Beethoven project north of Avon is 79.55, just under 80. That is the reason Northwestern was forced to buy the power.
As a former legislator, I still have access to the Attorney General Office in Pierre, I have had two meetings to discuss concerns I have with Prairie Winds. This week I sent information on the new 13-unit plan. In the coming weeks we will find out if this major change is legal or not.
Ed Van Gerpen
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