Dakota Wind Energy, LLC, has announced plans to form South Dakota’s first utility scale community-owned wind project. The project has the potential of generating 750 megawatts of energy and will spread over 700 square miles of farmland in Roberts, Marshall, and Day counties.
This press release from the company says it will take advantage of the under-used wind power South Dakota offers:
According to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), South Dakota ranks 4th in the nation with the greatest wind potential. However, when compared to other states, South Dakota‟s current installed wind power capacity is very low.
The Dakota Wind Energy LLC was conceptualized by South Dakota landowner, Gerry Fisher. National Wind, the project’s manager, local landowners and community leaders have capitalized the company. Dakota Wind Energy, LLC has formed a members advisory board which includes nine of the South Dakota landowners/co-founders. These board members are, Donald Erickson, Dennis Fagerland, Gerry Fisher, Blair Healy, Tim Hofer, Walt Johnson, Bob Metz, Don Ogren, and Curt Sampson. Additional landowners and local community members will become owners as the project develops.
“For community-wind projects, such as Dakota Wind Energy, size does matter. Utilities and institutional investors prefer large community-owned wind projects because they have the local support needed to move smoothly through permitting, site control, and power line siting,” says Patrick Pelstring, co-chair of National Wind. “This increases their likelihood of completion and gives projects such as Dakota Wind Energy, a competitive advantage. Large community wind projects also have the capital available to afford the high costs related to wind developments of any size, including building a private transmission line, which can cost millions of dollars,” says Pelstring.
The project could produce enough energy to power more than 200,000 homes.