Report: Windy S.D. not reaching
Feb 12, 2007 The Associated Press
South Dakota should start working hard on wind power
because it's the worst of the major wind resource
states in churning out wind energy, according to the
author of a study about future energy needs.
Joe Richardson's "Wind Power Dakotas" report for
2006 shows that South Dakota ranks fourth in the nation
in national wind resources but 21st in wind power
South Dakota should think like Alaska officials did
a generation ago when the state oversaw construction
of a pipeline to bring oil to the lower 48 states.
"What we need is a great transmission 'pipeline'
to where the centers of (energy) consumption are and
really go after this," said Richardson, of Fargo,
N.D. "I haven't seen that level of aggressive policy
movement in either (North Dakota or South Dakota).
I can understand it a little bit in North Dakota,
where we do have a coal industry, but I can't understand
it in South Dakota, where hydro (power) has been declining.
" Richardson has served on wind energy panels and
has studied the subject for the Farm Bureau.
Americans will start avoiding energy that harms the
environment because of concerns over global warming,
"The real market for South Dakota wind is outside
of its borders and reaching that market takes some
creativity in the area of policy that has not been
developed so far," Richardson said. "Our best market
is Illinois, Michigan and Ohio, and in order to reach
that market, we need to have a marketing arm that
has yet to be put together."
There's no easy solution yet to marketing wind energy
to other states, said Dusty Johnson, South Dakota
Public Utilities Commission chairman.
"South Dakota is not the market for our wind. It
has to be other states and frankly, Minnesota would
rather buy Minnesota wind," said Johnson, of Mitchell.
"We can't sell anything to Minnesota that they don't
State government has reduced taxes on wind turbine
sites and is speeding up the siting process, Johnson
said. "We have tried to create an environment where
wind power can succeed."
But South Dakota is hundreds of miles from any large
population center and is not the only windy state
in the Great Plains, the PUC leader said
. "We would like to see more wind (energy) in South
Dakota, and I think we could without adversely affecting
rate payers," he said. "I think we will see more turbines
in 2007 and 2008 and hopefully, each year will be
better than before. I think we're on that kind of
Johnson said a 40-megawatt wind farm in Hyde County
is the largest in the state. A 50-megawatt wind farm
is planned in Brookings County, and a 90-megawatt
facility is in the works for north-central South Dakota,