South Dakota set to nearly double wind power capacity

South Dakota ended that year with 313 megawatts, putting it 20th among states in capacity despite boasting the fourth best wind potential.

But the 99-megawatt Day County wind farm came online in 2010 and the 210-megawatt Buffalo Ridge II project is set to start up by winter’s end. South Dakota Wind Energy Association Executive Director Steve Wegman says South Dakota is just starting to reach its potential. He’d like the state to build at least two wind farms every year. He says the day these crews go home, they’re not coming back.

According to the American Wind Energy Association, South Dakota has the fourth best wind in the country. Throughout South Dakota, there is a widespread interest in encouraging further development of this renewable resource.

Further development of wind energy presents significant opportunity for the state and the nation. The development of wind power is good for farmers and ranchers by providing a much needed source of income; it is good for South Dakota’s economy by potentially offering new jobs and expanding the local tax base; and it is good for the environment because it provides a clean renewable resource to meet growing energy needs.