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CONTACT: Patricia Van Gerpen, South Dakota Public Utilities Commission,
phone (605) 773-3201

PUC and DOE to host Regional Wind Conference

The South Dakota Public Utilities Commission and the U.S. Department of Energy are hosting a Regional Wind Conference, September 11-13 at the Swiftel Center in Brookings, S.D.

Wind energy development will be the subject of sessions throughout the event, with the perspectives of landowners, business owners and government officials and those within the wind power and utility industries.

"We are going to examine some of the most important questions facing wind development in this region, like transmission, interconnection and how community-based wind works," said PUC Commissioner Dusty Johnson, who is serving as Conference Chair. "We expect to have experts from across the region participate, but we also want to make this accessible to people that aren't experts. There will be a guided tour of the Buffalo Ridge Wind Farm as well as an evening recap session for those unable to attend that day's sessions. Both the tour and the recap session are available at no charge."

"There is such a great deal of interest in wind development in

this region of the U.S. right now, so this is a timely opportunity," said PUC Chairman Gary Hanson. "We are delighted to partner up with the Department of Energy to host the event.

Those expected to attend the conference are primarily from Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota. Presenters will be from this region, Washington, D.C. where DOE is headquartered, as well as throughout the U.S."

"South Dakota is making progress in exploring and dissecting the benefits of wind power," said PUC Vice Chairman Bob Sahr. "This event will be a great opportunity to learn from the wind and utility experts and should have something to offer for all levels of expertise."

The conference will kick off with the September 11 afternoon tour to the Buffalo Ridge Wind Farm in Minnesota. Educational sessions will be held throughout the day on September 12 and continue on the morning of September 13, culminating with a luncheon wrap-up.

The September 11 tour and September 12 evening recap are offered at no charge to attendees. However, pre-registration is required. Details and registration are available online at

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