500 turbines could create economic benefits for a Siouxland town - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

500 turbines could create economic benefits for a Siouxland town

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500 turbines could dot the countryside near Beresford and Canton. 500 turbines could dot the countryside near Beresford and Canton.

For some of us, windy days can be a pain, especially when it messes up that hairdo or tablecloth on the picnic table.

But others are using wind to their advantage to develop a project will ultimately help power to be transferred from the Midwest to the East Coast.

Over the next five years, fields in Southern Lincoln County may start looking a lot different.

500 turbines could dot the countryside near Beresford and Canton.

But it all depends on whether or not landowners will let it happen.

"If we do not get enough interest from the landowners, then we'll be done," said Rob Johnson, Dakota Plains Energy President and Co-Founder.

Landowners like Jerry Mettler, who's generally supportive of the Dakota Power project but still has some concerns.

"How long is the lease? How will that impact my family in the future," said Jerry Mettler, farmer near Canton, SD.

Dakota Power would generate up to 1,000 megawatts of wind and develop alongside Rock Island Clean Line, a transmission line project, which would transfer power from the Midwest to the East Coast.

A proposal to help complete the project is already being considered in O'Brien County in Iowa.

But the benefits would also be local.

"I'm just very very pumped about this project," said Jim Fedderson, Beresford Mayor.

Beresford, South Dakota's mayor is excited about the business it would bring to his town.

Besides bringing in up to 50 permanent jobs, he also says that as many as 1,000 construction jobs would be created.

"That will fill up some of the campgrounds, and whether it's a hotel, motel, or some of the empty houses that would be rented out at that period of time," said Fedderson.

$750,000 to $1.5 million in taxes would also be generated for local school districts.

"Our school district runs 11 miles up into Lincoln County. So, we would get a reliant share," said Fedderson.

All possibilities that have local leaders like Fedderson excited for what could be ahead.

So why build the turbines in Southern Lincoln County?

Rob Johnson with Dakota Plains Energy says they've found that it has "some of the best wind in the country."

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