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PUC approves 165MW South Dakota wind farm

US: South Dakota's utilities commission has approved plans for a 165MW wind farm proposed by a regional power co-operative.

Buffalo Ridge: currently South Dakota's largest wind farm
Buffalo Ridge: currently South Dakota's largest wind farm

The Public Utilities Commission approved PrairieWinds SD 1, which the Basin Electric Power Cooperative has proposed for parts of Jerauld, Aurora and Brule counties.

Basin Electric expects to begin construction in mid-July and take the farm operational by March 2011. But it has not yet secured all necessary permits.

The project will include up to 110 wind turbines and a 13-mile, 230kV transmission line. When completed, it will be the second-largest wind farm in South Dakota, after the 210MW Buffalo Ridge II, which is under construction.

PUC chairman Dusty Johnson praised the economic potential of the wind farm: "Easement payments to landowners, taxes paid to the counties and state, and the jobs created by the construction and operation of this wind farm will have a significant and welcome effect," he said.

Basin Electric, a non-profit generation and transmission cooperative, operates 3.7GW of power and serves customers in nine states.

It has collaborated on six wind projects with developer NextEra, including a 30-year power purchase contract for 100MW of wind in North Dakota, planned to come online at the end of the year.

 

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