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DATE: March 8, 2004

Contact Person: Keith Senger, PUC Analyst
Contact Phone: 605-773-3201

SD Public Utilities Commission Requests Public Input on WAPA's "Dakotas Wind Transmission Study"

The Western Area Power Administration (WAPA) is conducting a study of its transmission system. This study will focus on the placement of 500 megawatts (MW) of new wind energy in North and South Dakota. The South Dakota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) is asking for the public's input to assist WAPA in defining the scope of the proposed Dakotas Wind Transmission Study.

"WAPA needs to hear from all of us that the development of wind energy is a top priority for South Dakotans," said PUC Chairman Bob Sahr. "We need to work together to help spur more clean, renewable energy in South Dakota."

PUC Vice-Chairman Gary Hanson adds, "It is widely known that South Dakota has the ability to provide a significant portion of the electrical needs for the United States through wind generation. A significant challenge for wind development is the transmission of energy generated by wind to those areas that need additional energy supply."

According to the PUC, there a number of benefits that will be realized with wind development. A few of those are: • Two thirds of air pollution is created through the burning of fossil fuels. In contrast, wind energy is clean. • Wind energy can decrease the dependency on natural gas and lower home heating costs. • Fossil fuel supplies are limited. Wind is limitless. • Wind can be used to create hydrogen fuels and ethanol. • Economic vitality can be enjoyed by farmers and ranchers who lease land for wind farms.

"There is so much more we can do to capitalize on our wind assets" said PUC Commissioner Jim Burg. "We encourage everyone to let WAPA know how important the development of this form of renewable energy is to South Dakota."

Comments may be submitted by e-mail to: either directly in an e-mail text file or as a Microsoft Word, Adobe PDF, or SDCII format attachment. Please use the subject Dakotas Wind Study comments and include the electronic signature of the author. If the signature cannot be included, a signed paper copy should also be sent. Written comments may be sent to: Mr. Sam Miller, Dakotas Wind Study Project Manager, Western Area Power Administration, Box 35800, Billings, MT 59107-5800. Please submit one signed original and a computer diskette or compact disc (CD) in Microsoft Word, Adobe PDF, or ASCII file format.

WAPA requests that the public's comments address • Study objectives – what should be studied and why • Outcomes – what should result from the study • Methods – how should the study be done

For more information contact Sam Miller at (406) 247-7466, Ed Weber, Transmission System Planning Manager, at (406) 247-7433, or Keith Senger, Public Utilities Commission Analyst at (605) 773-3201.

Comments must be submitted by 4 p.m. (Mountain Time), March 22, 2004.