More Wind Tower Power Coming To Grant And Codington Counties
Mark Mauersberger with Dakota Range Wind power appeared before the Codington County Commissioners Tuesday with details of their plans for a major wind power development project that, when constructed, would run from Big Stone City in Grant County through Codington and points south. Mauersberger is the Senior Development Manager for a wind power company called APEX, which is headquartered in Charlottesville, Virginia. APEX is a company that acquires wind power projects throughout the country, develops the project, builds, operate. Their goal is to sell their projects to utilities while retaining a share of the ownership. Some companies who have purchased from them in the past are Google, Microsoft and 3-M. He says wind power development is moving along rapidly right now thanks to the Production Tax Credit which was renewed for five years in the Omnibus Bill.
He says that one of the reasons they picked this area is the robust wind resources, but also because of the close proximity to existing and newly constructed power lines.
It’s expected that tower and other infrastructure Construction should get underway in 2019. He’s hopeful they can come back before the Codington County Commissioners in about 60 days for a conditional use permit. In Codington County the towers would spread out over mostly Germantown, Leola and some of Rauville townships. The project in both Grant and Codington Counties is pegged at just shy of 100 wind turbines. A more fine-tuned map of the layout is expected to be ready in about a month. When asked about the noise emitted from the towers Mauersberger said it’s minimal. Commissioner Myron Johnson agreed, referencing his own family’s farm near Toronto.
The cost of producing electrical wind power generation has dropped dramatically over the last ten years from nearly 65 dollars per megawatt to 20 dollars today.
The Codington County Zoning office is expected to brief the commissioner soon on the impact of the project.