Grant County Commissioners Receive Progress Report on Major Wind Energy Project Being Developed Across the Regional Area


A major wind energy project is beginning to take shape in northeastern South Dakota. Exel Energy Corporation has been working in partnership with Next Era Energy Resources to build the largest wind farm in the state of South Dakota. The proposed 600 megawatt “Crowned Ridge Wind Project” is being developed in Codington, Deuel and Grant counties. On Tuesday, the Grant County Commissioners were informed of the latest developments involving the project by Tyler Wilhelm, Associate Project Manager for Next Era Energy, who serves as lead developer for the wind energy project and Jamie Gentile, Manager of Community Development for the Florida based company. The South Dakota Public Utilities Commission has scheduled an open meeting for Monday, January 22nd at 5:30 p.m. at Milbank High School in an effort to gather input from the general public on the proposed wind energy project. The Crowned Ridge Wind Project is expected to be completed and in operation by the year 2020. Once completed, the project is expected to produce enough cost-effective energy to power more than 300,000 homes.

In other business, the commissioners approved the appointment of Dave Gonzenbach to serve as an at-large representative on the Association of Local Governments First District Executive Board.
The primary focus of the organization is to promote regional development in northeast South Dakota by providing professional services to local units of government and financial assistance to small businesses.

In another matter, the commission approved designated voting precincts for all areas of Grant County for the year 2018. The board also approved for county election workers to be paid $10.75 cents per hour for duties performed during upcoming elections this year. Such workers will also receive a
42 cent mileage rate for attending educational sessions as part of the overall election process, as well as for returning ballot boxes to the courthouse after the election. A $5 stipend was also approved for personal cell phone use to contact the auditor’s office for election-related business. The board also authorized a $25 rental allowance for election workers, as well.

At Tuesday’s meeting, the commissioners also approved a revised fee schedule for county related services for the coming year.

At the conclusion of Tuesday’s meeting, Commissioner Paul Dumman informed the board that he does not plan to seek re-election when his current term on the board expires. Dumman, who has provided many years of dedicated service to the county has decided that the time is right to step aside to pursue other personal interests for the immediate and distant future.