Wind Farm Planned In Western South Dakota

Black Hills Corp. utility subsidiary Black Hills Power announced that it filed a request for a declaratory ruling from the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission. The request asks the commission to confirm that a proposed 20-megawatt wind farm near Belle Fourche, S.D., is reasonable and cost effective considering other renewable electricity alternatives and is an appropriate resource addition to meet the company’s resource or customer needs.

“This $38 million capital wind power project will be the first wind energy development in western South Dakota and is a great step forward for this region,” said Chuck Loomis, vice president of operations, Black Hills Power. “The energy landscape continues to change, and this is the right project for our customers considering South Dakota’s renewable energy objective that was enacted by the South Dakota Legislature in 2008 and federal tax incentives for renewable energy projects that are currently available. A unique opportunity exists for us to add this wind generation resource near our service area and our existing transmission lines at favorable terms.”

This wind turbines project advances Black Hills Power’s progress toward the state’s objective that 10 percent of all electricity sold be obtained from renewable, recycled and conserved energy resources by 2015. Work already completed by the developer makes this project nearly construction-ready. This project will complement Black Hills Power’s existing coal-fired and natural-gas-fired generation fleet.

The 20-MW wind farm site was developed in part by Renewable Solutions LLC. “This wind farm will provide valuable economic development for the region while providing Black Hills Power with a cost effective source of power generation for the next 30 years,” said project developer Mark Eilers, president of Renewable Solutions.

If the declaratory ruling is approved, all remaining permits will be obtained, and the wind project will be constructed by Black Hills Power in Butte County north of Belle Fourche with commercial operation expected before Dec. 31, 2012.

Black Hills Power is the legacy utility business of Black Hills Corp. and has been delivering energy for more than 125 years. The electric utility serves 66,900 customers in 25 communities in western South Dakota, northeastern Wyoming and southeastern Montana.

Black Hills Corp. — a diversified energy company with a tradition of exemplary service and a vision to be the energy partner of choice — is based in Rapid City, S.D., with corporate offices in Denver and Papillion, Neb. The company serves 763,000 natural gas and electric utility customers in Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wyoming. The company’s non-regulated businesses generate wholesale electricity, produce natural gas, oil and coal, and market energy. Black Hills employees partner to produce results that improve life with energy.