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Developers ditch wind power easements in Lincoln County

The company behind a controversial wind farm proposal in Lincoln County has terminated its easements with 122 property owners.

Dakota Power Community Wind had initially pitched a project that would have become the state’s largest wind farm, capable of producing up to 1,000 megawatts of power through up to 500 turbines.

After three years of controversy and a well-organized, countywide pushback from opponents, commissioners passed a setback ordinance so strict the company dubbed it a ban on wind development.

Voters upheld the commission’s decision in July.

DPCW did not comment on its plans after the vote, though its representatives told commissioners multiple times that it could not move forward under the new rules, even at the scaled-down 150 turbine level.

This week, the company canceled the 122 easements it had on file at the Register of Deeds office with landowners who’d been willing to place turbines on their properties.

The termination could signal a final shuttering of the long-debated project south of Sioux Falls.

Company representative Brian Minish declined to comment on the easement termination Thursday, saying he’d offer a public statement to Lincoln County Commissioners at their regular Tuesday meeting.