LETTER: Is this wind project another bluff?
To the Editor:
On July 12, the Public Utilities Commission will hold their second public input hearing for the Prevailing Winds project north of Avon.
The first meeting was in August of 2016. At that meeting they showed a map of where the turbines would be and touted all the landowners signed up. A week or so after the meeting they withdrew their own application saying, "there was misinformation surrounding the project. We plan to better inform the community on the wind project and allow Prevailing Winds to revisit their options regarding the project." The project manager also was asked if they would split up the project into smaller units, and he said no.
But in December 2016, they formed 13 different LLC's so they could force a utility company to purchase the electricity because of the PURPA law. They did this in January of 2018 with Basin Electric.
Although they said they would hold more meetings, they never did. The truth finally came out two years later in their present application and reported in the June 16 Daily Republic. "Didn't have all of the land rights secured or a company to take the energy that would be produced."
It was a bluff. They were bluffing the PUC and the community. Now they are coming back again. Is this another bluff? The governor doesn't think so, he just gave $4.3 million to Prevailing Winds, now owned by SPower, partially owned by a Canadian corporation.
Why would the governor give $4.3 million dollars of our tax money to a foreign owned corporation? And another $3.8 million to Pattern Renewables, another multinational corporation for a wind farm in Butte County. If you live anywhere in rural South Dakota, you should start paying attention to this, because a 600 foot wind turbine spinning at 200 mph that can be placed 1,000 feet from your home is probably coming to you sooner than you think.
Gregg Hubner, President
South Dakotans for Safe and Responsible Renewable Energy