PIERRE, S.D. – State regulators gave their consent a second time Thursday for a wind-electricity project for western South Dakota.
It now has a new name, a new owner and most likely fewer turbines.
Willow Creek Wind Power was called Wind Quarry Operations when the state Public Utilities Commission approved the 103-megawatt site in November 2015.
The wind farm is planned 10 miles northeast of Newell in Butte County.
Originally it was to have up to 45 turbines, with each producing 2.3 megawatts.
That has changed somewhat under the new San Francisco, California-based owner, Pattern Renewables 2.
The revised plan now calls for 38 to 44 turbines, with some producing up to 2.82 megawatts apiece.
Commission staff attorney Amanda Reiss said the commission staff had “no concerns” with the transfer.
James Madson, the project development manager, said there still isn’t a purchaser for the electricity.
“It’s constantly being evaluated,” Madson said.
The commission Thursday also approved a transmission line of 230-kilovolt capacity that developers of Crowned Ridge want to build in northeastern South Dakota.
The line would cross 34 miles of Grant and Codington counties and connect two 300-megawatt projects to Otter Tail Power’s Big Stone South sub-station.
The commission also approved charging a filing fee of $8,000, and potentially up to $300,000, to process an application for the Dakota Range III wind farm and a transmission line for it.
Dakota Range III is proposed between Summit and Ortley in Grant and Roberts counties.
The project would have up to 42 turbines and produce up to 151 megawatts of electricity.
The 345-kilovolt line would span eight miles and connect with Otter Tail Power’s switchyard in Mazeppa Township.
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