South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Approves 200-Megawatt Wind Farm

July 02, 2007

White Wind Farm LLC received approval June 26 from the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission for a 200-megawatt wind farm to be built about 70 miles north of Sioux Falls. The facility will take advantage of the state's highly rated wind resources.

The $9.8 million power plant will be sited on 93 acres across 25 sections of land on Buffalo Ridge in Brookings County. The project will include up to103 turbines and require 45 miles of underground cable and 9 miles of aboveground cable. The facility will feed power into the Western Area Power Administration grid via a new substation to be built adjacent to an existing substation. Ground breaking is scheduled for sometime in 2008, with completion expected in 2009.

White Wind Farm LLC is a subsidiary of Navitas Energy, Inc., a commercial wind power developer based in Minneapolis. Navitas officials said they expect they will need 50 to 75 workers for construction and 10 to 12 permanent employees to maintain and monitor the completed facility. Landowners have signed a 20-year renewable lease with Navitas to host the turbines and associated infrastructure.

South Dakota has some of the best wind resources in the nation. The U.S. Department of Energy's Wind Powering America Program and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory have published a wind resource map of South Dakota showing it has good-to-excellent and excellent-to-outstanding wind resources.

Sources: June 29 article in SNL Energy Renewable Energy Week and June 27 article in the Press & Dakotan.

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