Crowned Ridge Wind facing penalty if project doesn’t start before end of year

PIERRE, S.D. (WNAX) – The developers of a wind power project in northeast South Dakota face a $75,000 a day fine unless the Public Utilities Commission grants a waiver.

Crowned Ridge Wind faces the penalty if the project doesn’t start before the end of the year. Special attachments to reduce noise are required on the blades but can’t be attached because of cold temperatures.

Attorney Brian Murphy, representing the developers, said there was a communications breakdown.

Commission Chairman Gary Hanson was unhappy with the news.

The problem came up in October, but the developer didn’t notify the commission until earlier this month.

Commissioner Chris Nelson says the tight timeline is a problem.

The Commission set a special hearing for Monday, Dec. 30 to consider the waiver on the blades.