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South Dakota Public Utilities Commission
Contact: Sue Schaefer, Phone Number: 605-773-3201
Date: Tuesday, March 16, 2004

PUC and FPL Energy Help Expand SDSU Wind Research Program

Pierre—The Public Utilities Commission presented South Dakota State University today with a $50,000 donation from FPL Energy to help expand a research program that measures wind power potential in South Dakota.

SDSU will use the money to buy anemometers, which are devices that measure wind power, and to fund locating the anemometers on 250-foot-plus towers. The new anemometers will be added to an existing SDSU research project called the Wind Resource Assessment Network. The program presently has five tower sites in the state.

"There are many great locations for wind farms in South Dakota, and the new sites will help attract wind power development to those areas," said PUC Chairman Bob Sahr. "We hope to at least double the number of the sites in the SDSU network."

"We're excited to team with SDSU and want South Dakota to have the best publicly available wind information in the country," said Vice Chairman Gary Hanson. "We thank FPL Energy for their generous donation to this worthy project."

"The SDSU anemometer program has already brought benefits to South Dakota," said Commissioner Jim Burg. "It'll be great to expand it to other parts of the state."

FPL Energy is the developer on South Dakota's first major wind farm, a 40 MW project near Highmore that is providing electricity to South Dakota's rural electric cooperatives.

You can learn more about the Wind Resource Assessment Network by following the wind energy link at the PUC Web site or by calling 1-800-332-1782.