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Farmers Have Questions About Wind Farm

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Farmers in Southern Lincoln County could have a big decision to make in the coming years, whether or not they will lease a small portion of their land for a wind turbine. 


“I've been trying to picture it,” said Jed Olbertson.


Olbertson and his dog Bo live northeast of Beresford, smack dab in the middle of where Dakota Power wants to build wind turbines.


The company announced Tuesday, that they want to double South Dakota's wind output in Lincoln County.


The wind is supposed to be close to perfect for wind turbines there. But, before construction, Dakota Power has to line up a few things, like leasing land from farmers.  


“The first reaction: it's a potential for good economic development,” said Olbertson.


Olbertson says he questions everything and having towering wind turbines in his backyard is something he says he will have plenty of questions about. 


“I want to learn more before I have a real strong opinion on it either way on it,” said Olbertson.


“I want to see what the composition is, what the tax structure is. I mean how much benefit to the local schools, local economy is there going to be?” asks Olbertson.


 While he hasn't asked what his neighbors think yet, he feels a lot of people will have a bit of skepticism.


“I think there is a lot of people that are in the same boat as I am. That just, we need more information,” said Olbertson.  


Dakota Power admits it's still early in the process of planning a wind farm. But, they say meeting with people like Olbertson is essential.


But until Dakota Power gets the ball rolling on acquiring land from farmers, people like Olbertson, will continue to wait for answers on a proposed wind farm.

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