The South Dakota Public Utilities Commission approved (July 9) a construction permit for the Triple H Wind project in Hyde County.
The proposed project, located approximately 3.2 miles southwest of Highmore, will include up to 92 wind turbines spread out over almost 27,250 acres and will be capable of generating up to 250.54 megawatts of energy. The company estimates the project will cost approximately $300 million to build and expects to complete construction in 2020. Triple H must adhere to 41 conditions specified by the commission during the construction and operation of the project.
A public input hearing was held in Highmore in March and PUC Vice Chairman Chris Nelson says the public input meeting for this particular wind farm was unlike most they go to. He says it was clear that the applicant had done the legwork with folks in the area because they came out to support the project. He says that goes a long way toward telling the PUC things have been taken care of.
Triple H has entered into two power purchase agreements. Upon completion of the wind facility, it will supply Walmart with 150 megawatts of energy and 48 megawatts will be sold to a confidential institutional buyer. The remaining 52 megawatts will be sold on a merchant basis.
Shadow flicker, sound level, land restoration after construction, potential impacts to whooping cranes and ice throw are among the details the 41 conditions address. Additionally, the commission voted to require the establishment of an escrow account specifically designated for the future decommissioning of the project.
The project footprint will also include access roads, underground collector lines and fiberoptic cable, a collection substation, one permanent meteorological tower, a 345-kV interconnection switching station, a sonic detection and ranging unit and an operations and maintenance facility.
The Triple H Wind Project docket can be viewed on the PUC’s website at www.puc.sd.gov, Commission Actions, Commission Dockets, Electric Dockets, 2019 Electric Dockets, EL19-007 – In the Matter of the Application of Triple H Wind Project, LLC for a Permit of a Wind Energy Facility in Hyde County, South Dakota.