The Grant County commissioners met in regular session December 20. They heard additional information regarding the right-of-way application requested from the Cattle Ridge Wind Farm project. Jay Hess and Melissa Schmidt of Geronimo Energy had addressed the commissioners earlier this month, but the commission had tabled the request to obtain information and research the project.
The Cattle Ridge Wind Farm is a 200-megawatt wind farm under development in Grant County in South Dakota. The project is a development of Cattle Ridge Wind Farm, LLC, a fully-owned subsidiary of Geronimo Energy. The Cattle Ridge Wind Farm’s footprint spans approximately 16,000 acres over Stockholm, Twin Brooks and Mazeppa Townships and represents a total investment of approximately $350 million once fully developed.
Cattle Ridge has secured easements along its proposed path with the exception of a ¼ of a mile stretch where Next Era Wind has an exclusive easement. The commissioner also explored the possibility of an agreement for an easement between the two companies. Both groups were present at the meeting Tuesday.
Cattle Ridge has proposed a jog in their ideal path to avoid that ¼ of a mile stretch which could help their project move forward. The commissioners requested the presence of Next Era Wind and asked them to work with Cattle Ridge. Next Era Wind stated that an agreement letter had been drafted and sent to Cattle Ridge, but an outcome was still not reached. The commissioners suggested the two parties work together to give Cattle Ridge the right to follow its original plan. The commissioners voted to approve the right-of-way application with the condition that an agreement between the two would be reached.
Additional items brought before the commissioners included approval for several change orders for projects presented by Kerwin Schultz, highway superintendent; monthly statistics reported by Grant County Sheriff Kevin Owen; predator animal control fund report by Eric Kraetsch, and a year end report by Grant County Economic Development Executive Director Bobbie Bohlen.
A request from Blaine Gomer, Northern Lights Ethanol dba POET Biorefining, was tabled until the next meeting.
The next meeting of the board is scheduled for Thursday, December 29, at 8 a.m. in the Grant County Courthouse commissioners meeting room.