Day County Wind Energy Center dedication





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Published on Jul 8, 2010

The new turbines of the Day County Wind Energy Center project near Groton, South Dakota, are a welcome sight to Mark Wattier.

(Mark Wattier): "I find myself, every morning when I get up, I look out the window to see which way the wind is blowing. It's just become part of the landscape now."

Wattier not only has several turbines on his land, he's a county commissioner, too. And one of the speakers at the dedication ceremony.

The dedication is a celebration of cooperation and efficiency. South Dakota Governor Mike Rounds compliments all the parties involved.

(Gov. Mike Rounds): "NextEra Energy Resources, Basin Electric Power Cooperative, East River Electric Cooperative and Western Area Power Administration could've said no to wind power, and given the excuse that, 'we'll just wait and see.' But they didn't do that. They were persistent in their support. And at the local level, our county commissioners, our farmers and our ranchers could've said, 'not in my backyard.' But they didn't. Instead, they welcomed this opportunity for innovation in the creation of electricity."

The 99-megawatt project was first announced at East River Electric's 2009 Annual Meeting in September.

(Jeff Nelson): "On September 7 of last year, when the parties came together, Western, NextEra, Basin, East River, committed to make this happen, and NextEra announced their intention to have the project operational by May 1, to which I immediately said, 'there is not a way that that will possibly happen.' On April 7, this project went live."

East River built the transmission for the project, NextEra Energy built the project, the Western Area Power Administration is buying the power for the first three years. And Basin Electric will buy the power after that.
Western's Administrator Tim Meeks says cooperatives are great at working together.

(Tim Meeks): "Their driver is service. Their driver is public service. Their driver is the good of the community, to make sure that you all are served in a reliable fashion, that your costs are low."

(Scott Scovill): "This is our fifth project with Basin Electric and our second with East River, and it comes down to, we know each company. And as we heard today, Ron talked about the trust that we have. There is a level of trust and a level of commitment and a level of understanding that have with each one of the organizations that allowed this to go so smoothly."

Basin Electric will be building a wind project soon in central South Dakota -- to be owned by our subsidiary, PrairieWinds SD 1.

(Ron Harper): "For the member-owners of Basin Electric, and I see a lot of you out here, when we finish that project, we will have 700 megawatts of wind generation in our generation portfolio. 700 megawatts."

Good news to our partners in South Dakota.

(Gov. Mike Rounds): "For many years to come, when any of us drive through this part of South Dakota, we will see the wind turbines turning here, creating clean renewable energy for our homes and our businesses."

(Mark Wattier): "It's just nice to see South Dakota as an exporting state for energy. It gives us one more commodity that we can sell."



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