Hughes County to study windmill rules as California company plans two wind farms south of Harrold – South Dakota News

Hughes County to study windmill rules as California company plans two wind farms south of Harrold – South Dakota News

By Stephen Lee
Capital Journal

Jan Krull and her husband, Ross, run 200 Black Angus cows on 2,000 acres of grass south of Harrold, S.D., and she is all for wind energy.

“I love windmills,” she said on May 15 in the Hughes County courthouse in Pierre.

“We have an old wooden one on the ranch. It doesn’t work anymore.” But the 20-foot tall weathered old windmill is a sort of ornament of history on the prairie that she treasures.

Krull also is looking ahead to windmills of a more modern design. Ones with towers soaring 220 feet or more above the grass, with blades that are 140 feet long, maybe.

She and Ross Krull and several other landowners attended the Hughes County Commission meeting on May 15 for a public hearing.

They are two of several ranchers and farmers in eastern Hughes County and western Hyde County who have leased land to Infinity Renewables, a Santa Barbara, California company planning to develop two wind farms south of Harrold.

The Hughes County Commission heard recently about Infinity making deals with landowners and had one landowner contact the Commission worried about whether county ordinances protected landowners well, said County Manager Kevin Hipple.

Krull retired two years ago from a job with the state Department of Transportation in which she acquired right-of-way easements from landowners so the state could facilitate transportation.

So she knows about negotiating for such rights.

“We have leased them six quarters,” she said of her being on the other side of the negotiating table with Dave Mabene, land agent for Infinity Renewables, who was doing the buying in leasing…

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