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Hutchison Co. board OKs wind turbine deal

OLIVET -- The Hutchinson County Board of Adjustment approved Tuesday night for B&H Wind to construct 10 408-foot wind turbines in Oak Hollow Township as part of an 80- megawatt power project.

The meeting drew a crowd of 50 to the county commissioners room. The wind project will have a total of 43 turbines, although some of those will be located in Bon Homme and Charles Mix counties. The project is slated to be near Tripp Lake, about six miles southwest of Tripp. The second phase of turbines would be located about six-tenths of a mile northwest of phase one.

Construction on the turbines is slated for May and a cost of $110 million to $120 million is estimated. The goal would be to finish the turbines by the end of the year. B&H Wind is a group of about 50 people who have invested in the wind farm.

The conditional use applications approved Tuesday will account for a second phase, good for 39 megawatts in all. A first phase of turbines was previously approved for 41 megawatts of power in late fall 2013. The power will be sold to Northwestern Energy.

Roland Jurgens, a senior project manager for Carstensen Energy, which is the contractor scheduled to build the turbines, said the project will have a $45 million tax impact over a span of 25 years, including $150,000 per year for the Tripp-Delmont school district alone. Jurgens said Hutchinson County would bring $41,000 in tax revenue per year.

The board also approved Oak Lane Colony's construction of a 4,000-head hog barn in Clayton North township near the Hanson County line. The board also approved AT&T's request to improve five existing antennas in the county to upgrade the area's 4G cell service.