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Wind farm lease in place for tribe

Aug 16, 2008 - The Associated Press

LOWER BRULE, S.D. - Studies are under way and a lease has been signed with the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe and some nearby landowners to develop a wind farm, described as the first such project on the tribe's land.

"We are delighted to be working with the Lower Brule Tribe on this important project," said Tim Seck of Iberdrola Renewables, developer of the 225-megawatt wind farm. "We look forward to moving forward with the many tasks we need to complete before construction can begin."

If all the necessary permits are granted quickly, the wind farm could be operating as early as 2010 and would provide enough energy for 79,000 homes a year, according to estimates from the American Wind Energy Association.

Michael Jandreau, Lower Brule Sioux Tribe chairman, said the project is another way to support a more diversified economy for the tribe and to take part in something that will benefit the entire region. "Mother Nature has blessed us with wind, and we are striving to develop it with our partner, Iberdrola Renewables, in a respectful and successful way," he said.

Iberdrola Renewables has gotten permits to install three meteorological towers to collect wind data. As many as four more could be installed this summer.

The company also plans to finalize an agreement with a buyer for the power; get an agreement to move the power to where it will be used; conduct cultural, wetland and biological surveys; meet with people in the area to answer questions; finish a federal environmental impact statement; and get various other approvals.

The North American division of Iberdrola Renewables is based in Portland, Ore. The company says it provides more than 8,000 megawatts of wind power globally.

On the Net: http://www.iberdrolarenewables.com

American Wind Energy Association: http://www.awea.org


Information from: The Daily Republic, http://www.mitchellrepublic.com