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Published July 25, 2009, 11:31 PM

Wind farm studied at Avon

A pair of 200-foot towers have been installed near Avon to determine whether the area is suitable for building a wind farm. B&H Wind of Avon put up the towers, which will measure wind speed and direction, temperature and barometic pressure for the next two to three years.

By: Associated Press,

AVON, S.D. — A pair of 200-foot towers have been installed near Avon to determine whether the area is suitable for building a wind farm.

B&H Wind of Avon put up the towers, which will measure wind speed and direction, temperature and barometic pressure for the next two to three years.

“Before you can do anything you have to have at least one year of data for financing,” said B&H vice president Bruce Voigt.

B&H Winds board members are from area towns such as Tripp and Tyndall,

S.D. The company wants to build wind farms in order to generate money for the local economy and make area towns more independent.

Voigt said the area near Avon was chosen not only for its wind potential, but also for its proximity to local electricity transmission lines.

“The big thing with any wind development is transmission lines,” Voigt said.

According to Voigt, putting in new transmission lines costs electrical companies $1 million per mile, which makes it important that the group find an area close to existing infrastructure. Avon has three transmission lines in the area, which makes it promising for building wind farms in the future.

Wind data will be used to determine the size of any wind farm in the area. If the area has the capacity for generating 100 megawatts of electricity, then 50, 2-megawatt turbines could be constructed. Voigt said B&H thinks the area can generate up to 300 megawatts.

Costs for the wind farm wouldnt be cheap. Voigt said each megawatt generated costs $1 million, so a 50-megawatt wind farm would cost $50 million. However, with two years of good wind data, B&Hs leases on potential turbine sites could then be sold to large investment companies who would pay to construct the turbines.

“The big thing right now is the economy,” Voigt said. “A lot of wind farms got canceled or put on hold because of the economy.”

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