Articles from South Dakota

County board approves wind turbine dismantling work

Commissioner John Claggett said he was “deluged” with calls, asking why the county would accept wind turbines when the commission has not allowed wind turbines to be built in the county. He said governing bodies aren’t doing enough to hold wind energy companies and supporters accountable. “I’m getting asked, ‘We don’t have active wind farms here, why do we bring that in?'" he said.
10 Dec 2019

Energy firm continues investigation into cause of incident at wind farm

Construction manager Scott Creech confirmed an incident occurred Wednesday in Bon Homme County. However, he declined to provide more details on what caused the tipping of the crane, which was shown lying on the ground in social media photos. ...Creech also declined to confirm the crane’s height. However, Ronnie Hornstra, president of Prevailing Wind LLC, has told the Press & Dakotan "two of the only three mammoth cranes this size in the United States are on the project."
27 Sep 2019

SD Public Utilities Commission issues $30,000 max fine for southeastern wind farm's permit violation

Commissioner Kristie Fiegen said the fact that Prevailing Wind violated one of many conditions in their permits so early in their construction was a major concern -- especially for a project of its size. ...in order to avoid a costly civil lawsuit. Prevailing Wind will pay the maximum fine of $10,000 per day of the violation, totaling $30,000. The money will go to the permanent school fund.
15 May 2019

New law will streamline wind and solar energy permits

“This major legislation doubles the amount of time citizens have to prepare for and resolve issues during wind evidentiary hearings,” said PUC Chairman Gary Hanson. “It gives citizens a stronger negotiating position, and guarantees that all parties to a docket are entitled to an evidentiary hearing. The new law also provides local governments with more influence in wind and solar development.”
22 Mar 2019

Naked in the wind

In the eyes of a lawyer, which is not very romantic, when a wind farm contains steel, wires, underground cabling, electrical components and concrete we have potential legal liability.  Wind farm infrastructure is not owned by the landowner.  It is owned by the wind farm operator.  A landowner has no right to control or interfere with a wind farm. Who may be liable and to what extent is always an interesting legal question.  A court calls this the allocation of liability.  It is best not to become involved in a question on the allocation of liability.  General liability insurance coverage is one way in which liability risks are reduced.
12 Mar 2019

The legislature’s failing grade on wind farms

Financial decommissioning safeguards, if in place, would have a considerable effect on the interest of local landowners, farmers, ranchers and neighbors in proposed wind farms. It is a common response to a proposed wind farm for a landowner to say, 'Oh yes they will be here today – but gone tomorrow.' If 'tomorrow' comes don't landowners, farmers, ranchers and the neighbors of a wind farm have a right to the proper and complete process of decommissioning?
18 Feb 2019

Public meeting held for Pass Creek Wind

A public meeting was held on Monday, December 10, 2018, at the Martin Activity Center to discuss plans for Pass Creek Wind, a utility-scale wind energy project planned for Bennett County north of Martin. Approximately 35 people attended the meeting including Bennett County Commissioners, local ranchers and members of the Oglala Sioux Tribe. 
11 Dec 2018

Place moratorium on wind farms

Both the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) and Department of Health are playing Russian Roulette with the health of their constituents if projects permitted in 2018 use ten year old data for guidelines on safety and quality of life. Inadequate protection by policy makers will result in jeopardized public health and exorbitant legal expenses to defend inadequate guidelines based on outdated data.
10 Nov 2018

Letter: Gone with the wind

We pay for these projects through taxes and increased utility rates for power we don’t need or use. People won’t know what hit them until the towers are built. That’s too late. These sacrifice quality of life, health, safety and residential property values for the greed of a few.
20 Sep 2018

Wind farm wins OK

The commissioners’ approval of the three motions Tuesday didn’t mean they were approving the wind farm at this time. Instead, they decided the project was in compliance with the county zoning ordinance, which takes the process to the next level. The commissioners were split in their votes.
22 Aug 2018

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