Company gets 2nd chance for wind testing in Lincoln County

 Company gets 2nd chance for wind testing in Lincoln County

CANTON, S.D. (AP) - An Aberdeen company that wants to test the wind capacity for a possible multimillion-dollar wind farm in Lincoln County is getting a second chance due to a technicality.

County zoning officials last month denied Dakota Plains Energy permits for five meteorological towers, after neighbors said they worried about property values, health impacts and nuisances should the Dakota Power Community Wind project go forward.

However, the County Commission on Tuesday night ruled that the company had applied for the wrong permits. That means the matter is likely to go back before the county's zoning board, possibly in late April.

Commissioners ruled that the company needs only temporary use permits due to the testing towers' 3-5-year life span, not the more permanent conditional use permits that Dakota Plains Energy initially had sought.

"The process was different than they originally told us, so we're more than happy to oblige to make sure the process is done properly," Dakota Power Community Wind board member Brian Minish said.

Wind farm opponents said they will continue to fight.

"Whether it's a conditional use permit or a temporary use permit, the towers disrupt the line of sight," Winnie Peterson said.

Dakota Plains Energy officials have said there are about 140 investors interested in the Dakota Power Community Wind project, with $2.5 million in funding already lined up.

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