The South Dakota Public Utilities Commission has approved a siting and construction permit for the 200 MW North Bend Wind Project. North Bend Wind and PUC staff had filed a settlement stipulation with the commission on December 13 last year. The agreement specified 45 conditions that must be adhered to during the construction and operation of the project. Land and road restoration, shadow flicker, noise levels, ice detection and ice throw, decommissioning, and monitoring of grouse lek (the annual courting display by a huge gathering of male grouse) are all among the issues the conditions address.
The project will include up to 71 wind turbines and occupy approximately 46 931 acres of land. Other components of the project will include access roads and associated facilities, underground 34.5 kV collector lines, underground fibre-optic cable, a 34.5 kV to 230 kV collection substation, a 230 kV interconnection switching station, an aircraft detection lighting system and one permanent meteorological tower.
North Bend Wind estimates construction of the wind farm will cost $265 million to $285 million. The project will interconnect to Western Area Power Administration’s Fort Thompson-Oahe 230 kV transmission line, which crosses the southern portion of the project area. The project is owned by ENGIE North America and is anticipated to be operational in late 2023. Basin Electric Power Cooperative will purchase the power produced by the wind project.