SOURCE: Dakota Power Community Wind

November 16, 2016 08:00 ET

Dakota Power Community Wind Partners with Fortune 500 Company to Answer Xcel Energy's Request for Proposal

Partnership could provide energy to power up to 200,000 homes in South Dakota

SIOUX FALLS, SD--(Marketwired - Nov 16, 2016) - Dakota Power Community Wind, a wind energy project of up to 1,000 megawatts located in southeast South Dakota, announces that they have partnered with a Fortune 500 company to respond to Xcel Energy's $2 billion request for proposal for 1500 megawatts of wind energy. Dakota Power has proposed supplying 400 megawatts, enough to power 200,000 homes in southeast South Dakota. The plan includes powering Lincoln and Minnehaha counties which hold much of the state's urban population.

Xcel Energy, a publicly traded company based in Minneapolis, has been ranked as the top U.S. wind energy-producing utility by the American Wind Energy Association, a trade group. Xcel recently announced plans to expand wind power and increase wind generation capacity in the Midwest by 60 percent, adding enough capacity to power 750,000 homes. They plan to add eight to 10 wind farms that will provide about 1,500 megawatts of power when the wind's blowing.

"We are excited to represent South Dakota in this request for proposal. Wind energy is crucial to South Dakota's economic landscape. We believe that this project will open many other opportunities, increasing renewable energy projects in South Dakota, says Paul Shubeck, President of the Board of Directors of Dakota Power Community Wind. "The project in southeast South Dakota plans to use the most efficient wind farm footprint while reducing uncertainty, mitigating risk & maximizing the return on investment. The potential for increased tax revenue is very important to our rural and urban communities and South Dakotans will be able to utilize the energy in their own homes."

In a 12-month period through July 2016, South Dakota generated 26.9 percent of its electricity from wind power, the third highest in the nation. Many of the largest Fortune 500 companies, including Google, Johnson & Johnson, Bank of America, Cargill, General Motors, Microsoft, PepsiCo, Amazon, Nestle, Philips, Starbucks, Walmart and Nike, are making renewable resources a priority and are demanding clean energy in determining where they locate their facilities and create their jobs. Wind energy is a big part of this plan. Many states are eager for the chance to entice these companies' demands and gain the economic benefits that are associated. 

Wind energy project investment attracted $14.7 billion in 2015. The industry delivered $222 million in annual land lease payments to rural landowners and farmers, over $156 million of that went to low-income counties. The Department of Energy Wind Vision Scenario projects that South Dakota could produce enough wind energy by 2030 to power the equivalent of 895,000 average American homes. South Dakota has a natural energy source that presents significant opportunity for the state and the nation. With the request for proposal South Dakotans could start seeing energy and costs savings by 2019 with the Dakota Power Community Wind project expected to be fully operational.

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Dakota Power Community Wind was established in 2013 and is owned by over 170 South Dakota residents, 90 of which reside in Lincoln County. Seven meteorological towers have been collecting data and the footprint of the project is now situated in southern Lincoln County. All required federal and state environmental studies have either been completed or are underway with favorable results. An area in Southeast South Dakota was identified as likely possessing some of the nation's finest wind resources. The board of Dakota Power Community Wind have begun preliminary action on a wind energy project of up to 1,000 megawatts. They have gathered enough land to support a 400-megawatt wind farm -- which would be the largest wind farm in the state, and would add nearly 50% to the state's wind production. The owners hope to reduce our nation's dependence on fossil fuels while also creating jobs and generating a new tax base that will directly support South Dakota's school systems, counties and townships.

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