Britton, SD, Jan. 28, 2008 — Dakota Wind Energy LLC announced its plans to take advantage of South Dakota’s wind energy potential with the formation of the state’s first utility scale community-owned wind project. The project is located in Roberts, Marshall, and Day counties. This project has the potential of producing over 750 megawatts of wind energy spread over 700 square miles of agricultural land. 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. The 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,” said 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,” added Pelstring.
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