Northeast South Dakota wind power projected debated

WATERTOWN, S.D. (KXLG) — Mostly opponents to the Crown Ridge II wind power development project filled a hearing room at the Watertown Event Center Tuesday evening as the Public Utilities Commission took input over a request by NextEra Energy to construct a $425 million 132 wind tower-project that would be constructed in Codington, Grant, and Deuel counties in Northeastern South Dakota. Daryl Hart is the Director Of Development with NextEra Energy who says the power from this project would be sold to Northern States Power Company to satisfy their renewable energy requirements.

He says the project would be a boost to the local economy with 250 construction jobs along with 12 full-time positions added. There would also be improvements made to county and township roads, $40 million in payments made to landowners, and tax revenues paid to local school districts and counties. However, Rich Rall who lives near Goodwin in Deuel County isn’t convinced. He calls the wind tower projects a scam and cites towers that produce power only 30 percent of time and that are reliant on fossil fuels to make up the difference.

But Anita Raml and her husband rose in support of the project saying they will allow construction on their property.

The commission took no action at the Watertown hearing.