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South Dakota officials approve new 300-megawatt wind farm

PIERRE (AP) — State officials have approved a roughly 300-megawatt wind farm in Grant and Codington counties of northeastern South Dakota.

The South Dakota Public Utilities Commission on Tuesday approved a permit with conditions for constructing the $380 million project, which is expected to be finished in 2021.

The Dakota Range wind project is expected to encompass up to 72 turbines across about 44,500 acres. Minneapolis-based Xcel Energy plans to build and own the project.

Commission Vice Chairman Gary Hanson says the conditions commissioners imposed on the permit will make sure the project is built and operated in a manner that's "responsible and fair to all parties as well as the environment."

The conditions address issues including bird mortality monitoring and aircraft detection lighting.