South Dakota: Company wants to build wind farm in Lincoln County

Source: Written by Nick Lowrey, Argus Leader • Posted: Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Lincoln and Minnehaha County economic development associations on Tuesday formally announced preliminary action on a new community wind power project in Lincoln County.

Dakota Power Community Wind, a group of Lincoln County landowners and community leaders formed in 2012 to look at developing a wind farm, has been working with Aberdeen-based wind farm developer Dakota Plains Energy to lay the ground work for the potential project. The hope, according to some of the group’s board members, is to help develop the county’s economy.

“I can’t underestimate the importance of investing in our future,” said Beresford Mayor Jim Fedderson.

The group said it hopes to open the wind farm in 2018.

Rob Johnson, president and Co-founder of Dakota Plains Energy, said 65,000-75,000 acres is needed for the project, and they haven’t started recruiting landowners. If completed, the wind farm is likely to be in southern Lincoln County.

The group says more than 1,000 temporary construction jobs and up to 70-full time positions could be created by the wind farm if it reaches its target size of 1,000 megawatts.

“It doubles the size of South Dakota’s current wind projects at the final size of the project,” said Paul Shubeck, chairman of Dakota Power Community Wind’s board of directors.

The project’s location in Lincoln County was chosen for two reasons, said Rob Johnson, president and Co-founder of Dakota Plains Energy. The first was the construction of the Rock Island Clean Line electrical transmission line, which is designed to bring “clean energy” from northwest Iowa and the surrounding region to states with high energy demands. The second was that Lincoln County’s winds were judged to be ideal for wind power

“South Dakota has a great wind regime – a lot of people don’t realize this because we don’t monetize it,” Johnson said.