January 1, 2009

Wind power development still in process

By ALLAN TINKER

Otter Tail Energy Service (OTESCO) representatives were at the Sheridan County Courthouse on Jan. 6 to follow up on the information that they had sent out in mid-December. "There is a lot happening," said Kirby Anderson, Director of Wing Development for OTESCO. "It just is in the background." And he listed the things that had happened and were going to happen before actual road and tower construction got underway for the project in northeast and northwest Sheridan County, Sheridan Ridge I and II, respectively. The process, after determining that Sheridan County was a very good wind resource area, was to secure options of easement for the wind turbines, towers, collector system, roads and substations, according to OTESCO information presented. The meeting earlier in the year with the Sheridan County Commissioners had cleared zoning and permit issues with the county, as well as some work on the financial aspects and the impact on the county and its residents. Three MET towers (meteorological towers) were placed: one each in Section 31 of Mertz Township, Section 32 of Prophets Township, and Section 43 of Holmes Township. These 60-meter temporary towers will measure wind speed and direction at several different heights, according to OTESCO, and will do so year round, 24 hours a day. They may measure for longer than a year, perhaps two. OTESCO has applied for a transmission interconnection to transmit any power generated into the power grid. This area of work has been largely done by Tom Hrdlicka, Manager of Permitting and Design, and Myron Rader, Manager of Project Development, both with extensive experience in the electrical generation and transmission areas of Otter Tail Corporation.


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