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South Dakota sees wind boom on the horizon

South Dakota sees wind boom on the horizon

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Energy News Network:The prairies and rolling hills of South Dakota will soon become dotted with wind turbines after the approval of eight major wind energy projects that could bring 700 more turbines and an investment of $2.6 billion in the state by the end of 2020.Two other projects now in the regulatory approval process would bring 188 more turbines and another $640 million in investments to the state, bringing the total of new turbines to 888 and the investment by energy companies to $3.26 billion.The rapid expansion of wind energy will reach across the state, with the majority of new turbines targeted for the northeast corner, but with other projects planned for Hand and Hyde counties in the center of the state and a 45-turbine project now under construction near Newell in Butte County in the far northwest.Just two years ago, despite being home to the third-most-active winds in the nation, South Dakota ranked No. 19 for wind energy production among the 50 states, with 15 wind farms and a total of 584 turbines able to generate 1,014 megawatts of electricity.New national ranking data is not yet available, but the approved and docketed projects would raise the total of wind farms to 25 and nearly triple the number of wind towers in the state. The electricity production capacity would rise to more than 3,600 megawatts. Though it is variable, one megawatt of electricity can power about 1,000 homes; South Dakota ranks high in the nation for the number of homes, about 300,000, that are powered by wind energy.Landowners, local governments and schools will all see significant financial benefits from the projects. One wind farm approved in Clark County, the Crocker Wind Farm, will pay leaseholders $46 million over the next 20 years, according to documents filed by developer Geronimo Energy. That project, which includes up to 120 turbines and an expected investment of $600 million, will also create 10 to 20 full-time jobs, support a “community fund” of $1.6 million, and generate $36 million in tax revenues for the state, county, township and local schools in its first two decades of operation.More: $3.3 billion wind investment will add 2,500 MW of clean energy in South Dakota South Dakota sees wind boom on the horizonlast_img read more

Bar Ethics Department fields more than 2,000 calls in August

Bar Ethics Department fields more than 2,000 calls in August

first_imgBar Ethics Department fields more than 2,000 calls in August October 1, 2000 Regular News Bar Ethics Department fields more than 2,000 calls in August A record-breaking month of helping Florida Bar members with ethics questions may be an early indicator of the most successful year ever for the Bar’s Ethics and Advertising Department. The department’s six full-time and three part-time attorneys answered 2,097 ethics calls in August, eclipsing the previous high of 1,990 in June 1999. “We’re very excited about it,” said Bar Ethics Counsel Elizabeth Tarbert. “I expect this to be a record-breaking year.” So far, for the first two months of the 2000-01 fiscal year, the number of calls handled by the department is eight percent higher than for 1998-99, the previous record year, when 18,837 calls were answered. Tarbert said she expects to exceed 19,000 calls this year, and perhaps even surpass the 20,000 mark. That effort will be helped by recent changes in the department’s telephone system, she said. “We’re getting fewer busy signals and more people are getting through on their first call,” Tarbert said. The new system, set up by Karen Bullock in the Bar’s Information Systems Department, allows callers who initially get a busy signal to stay on the line for a couple of minutes. That frequently allows one of the ethics attorneys to finish a call and take the waiting lawyer, saving him or her having to phone again. So far the new process has garnered favorable comments from lawyers, Tarbert said, and the number of lawyers who have to call more than once has significantly declined. Still, handling dozens of calls a day can make it at times difficult to get through. Tarbert said the best times to call are during lunchtime and before a holiday. There is no such thing as a typical call, she said. “We have calls that last a minute and we have calls that last close to an hour,” she added. “Just getting the facts out in some cases can take a while. Our most frequently asked question concerns conflicts of interest.” Tarbert said there’s not much an inquiring lawyer can do to get ready for a call, except “be prepared to be totally honest and give all the pertinent facts. We’re just happy to have you call us and say, `I have a question.’” All calls are confidential except for two instances. If an inquiring lawyer makes erroneous public statements about a call, ethics staff can reveal information to correct the record. Or if a lawyer uses information from a call to defend a grievance complaint, the information can be released to aid in that process. Most callers, Tarbert said, are satisfied with a verbal opinion, but some request written opinions. She expects about 1,000 written requests, most of which are separate inquiries from the phone calls. If a caller is unhappy with the advice given in a call, he or she must request a written opinion, which can then be appealed to the Professional Ethics Committee. From there, it can be appealed to the Board of Governors, Tarbert said. All written staff opinions are also reviewed by a PEC subcommittee. The toll free number for the ethics hotline is (800) 235-8619. If that line is busy, callers can usually reach someone or leave a message by placing a toll call at (850) 561-5780.last_img