We’re pretty energized about our community wind project in Northeast South Dakota. It’s by far the biggest community wind project in the state and it’s coming along quite nicely. Dakota Wind Energy has signed over 40,000 acres!

Here’s the release:

Dakota Wind Energy Signs Over 40,000 Acres With Plans To Develop South Dakota’s Largest Community-Owned Wind Farm

Eden, South Dakota – August 27, 2008- Dakota Wind Energy, LLC, a South Dakota community-owned wind development company, achieved an important project milestone today. They now have over 40,000 acres of land under option in connection with its plans to develop South Dakota’s largest community-based wind farm in Day, Roberts and Marshall Counties. This is over half the acres needed to develop wind projects up to an aggregate of 750 megawatts. 750 megawatts of wind projects require approximately 75,000 acres of land for development.

“The landowner interest in our project has been immense, especially with our recently announced intrastate public offering,” says Pete Karlsson, a local project field specialist. “Most landowners who have granted Dakota Wind Energy wind related rights are choosing to become owners in the project company. Everyone involved in this development is extremely dedicated to creating a project that gives landowners the opportunity for potential long-term ownership benefits. These are benefits non-community-based wind development cannot offer.”

Site control is an important part of Dakota Wind Energy’s development process. The local project field specialists in the area, Pete Karlsson, Charlie Kraemer and Brian Stuart, will continue working with landowners on a frequent basis. Dakota Wind Energy hopes to build its first project phase in the next 3 to 5 years.

“We expect our project to be here for the long-term and we want to be proud of how it fits in with the community,” says Mark Lucas, Vice President of National Wind, the manager of Dakota Wind Energy. “Not only is this project designed to provide landowners with an potential income resource and keep additional dollars within the community, we expect it will also provide a source of skilled ‘sustainable’ jobs to the project area. Because the project is intended to create clean, renewable energy, these would be “environmentally preferred” jobs that would not add to air pollution or create additional greenhouse gas emissions.”

Wind Powering America and the National Renewable Energy Lab report that every 100 megawatts of installed wind capacity creates, on average, 10-20 permanent, local jobs and 40-140 temporary, construction jobs, including meteorologists, surveyors, structural engineers, assembly workers, lawyers, bankers, and technicians. Windustry reports that wind energy creates 30% more jobs than a coal plant and 66% more than a nuclear power plant per unit of energy generated.

“We want this project to have a positive, local impact on the community and we are confident that we are heading in that direction,” says Karlsson. “We expect our project alone to add about 75-150 permanent, local jobs and about 300 -1000 temporary, construction jobs to the three-county area.” To learn more about how to participate in this project, please contact Pete, Charlie or Brian at Dakota Wind Energy’s Eden office number: (605) 884-5515.