Information, observations, and analysis from the James River valley on the Northern Plains-----
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It's called Tatanka Wind Power, LLC. That has a nice Dakota ring to it because "tatanka" is the Lakota word for bull bison. Tatanka Wind Power has announced plans to build a ten-mile power transmission line through Dickey County, North Dakota, to connect with a main transmission line owned by Montana-Dakota Utilities Co.
Tatanka plans to put up 120 wind turbines along the North Dakota-South Dakota border. They would be divided equally between the states so that each state will produce 90 megawatts of electricity.
Dickey County, for which Ellendale is the county seat, had a wind turbine project in the works about a year and a half ago. However, when a township drew up zoning restrictions to insure that the structures would not have an adverse impact on individual farmers, the companies involved in the scheme canceled the plans. The major company involved in that scheme was headquartered in Florida.
Tatanka Wind Power, LLC, is owned by Acciona Wind Energy USA, LLC, which, in turn, is a subsidiary of Acciona SA headquartered in Madrid, Spain.
The South Dakota turbines to be built by Tatanka will be located in McPherson County
Northwestern Energy, which is the privately-owned utility that supplies gas and electricity to the Aberdeen area, as well as much of South Dakota, has been approved by the PUC for sale to an Australian Company, Babcock and Brown Infrastructure, Ltd., headquartered in Sydney.
During the summer of 2005, interest in wind energy by individual farmers was spurred when Deere & Co. announced a program through its credit corporation to finance wind turbines for individual farmers who could join with neighboring farmers to produce megawatts of electricity through a network of turbines. Organization and support from farm organizations and electric cooperatives never materialized. Farmers and land-owners who were interested in supporting production facilities found it near impossible to obtain information on how to work with state regulations and get access to transmission lines. It became clear that the power industry is not interested in production facilities that are not wholly owned and controlled by private companies, many of them foreign.
While there is wind being generated about energy independence, the fact is that foreign corporations are moving into control of the U.S. energy market.
Here is an issue for Steve Kolbeck, candidate for the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission.