According to Jim Newcomb, certified financial planner for SummitWind, the placement of wind turbines just south of Summit in Farmington Township will create up to 100 temporary jobs during the construction phase and six permanent positions during operation. The Grant County Commissioners signed a letter of support for the SummitWind Farm Project during its regular meeting Tuesday, September 6, at the Grant County Courthouse.
As reported by Newcomb, the State of South Dakota will collect a Nameplate Tax and Gross Receipts Tax from the project and those will be distributed throughout the county. “100 percent of the Nameplate Tax and 20 percent of the Gross Receipts Tax will go to Grant County – 50 percent to the school district where it’s located, 35 percent to the county, and 15 percent to the township. There are also additional benefits such as indirect jobs and revenue to the local restaurants, gas stations, and so on.”
In their letter, the commissioners stated, “EDF RE (renewable energy) is one of the largest developers, owners, and operators of wind energy projects in the country and we are very excited they are partnered with the local group SummitWind, LLC, sited in the Farmington Township of Grant County. Jim (Newcomb) has been working diligently on the development of the project for over six years. Since its inception, both SummitWind and EDF RE have kept us well informed on the project’s progress, providing us with updates over the years.”
Commissioner Paul Dummann, who invested in the project and so unable to vote regarding it, stated, “This is my township. I know the people and I’ve known Jim for the last 10 years. A lot of local money has gone into the project and 100 percent of the land is signed up. That shows a lot of local support.” Commissioners Clayton Tucholke and Doug Stengel questioned endorsing a particular company.
The SummitWind Farm Project was developed in partnership with SummitWind, EDF RE and OwnEnergy, Inc. “Each is a necessary component which brings different resources to the table and collectively works towards eventual operation,” stated Newcomb. “EDF has the expertise, money, and marketing ability and is the biggest company in the world doing this type of project with over 30 years of experience.”
The project is being marketed to offtakers and is seeking to secure a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) to further its development. “Once a PPA is secured, EDF RE will plan a construction timeline and work with Grant County to secure siting and construction permits,” Newcomb stated. Newcomb estimated construction costs to be between $140 million and $150 million.