A parcel of land in Clark County, S.D., will soon serve as a wind farm providing enough electricity to power approximately 5,000 homes in the region for a year. A portion of the 7,000-plus acre Oak Tree Lodge family farm and hunting lodge owned by Bill Makens is now home to a soon-to-open wind power installation comprised of eleven General Electric 1.85-87 wind turbines with a combined capacity of 19.5 megawatts.
Makens partnered with regional contractors Diversified Energy Solutions of Gary, S.D., and with Consulting Engineers Group of Farmington, Min., to design and build the project. Juhl Energy of Pipestone, Minn., provided development support services. Consolidated Edison Development, a New York-based energy service company (ESCO) and a developer and operator of large-scale renewable energy projects, recently closed an agreement with Makens to acquire and operate the project. The wind farm, which will generate approximately 71,000 megawatts of power annually for South Dakota homeowners, was scheduled to be operational by the end of December.