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DATE: April 19, 2004

Contact Person: Sue Schaefer, Information Officer

Contact Phone: 605-773-3201

South Dakota Public Utilities Commission to host Wind Energy Meetings

South Dakota PUC Commissioners and staff will be "Gone with the Wind" as they travel to different locations within South Dakota to discuss wind energy.

"With the enormous wind development potential that exists in South Dakota, we decided the PUC should take the show on the road and provide landowners, developers and anyone interested in this form of renewable energy with important informational tools," says Commission Chairman Bob Sahr.

Beginning with their first meeting in Murdo on April 28th, the PUC will travel to a total of five locations. Meetings are currently slated for Bowdle, Gettysburg, Selby and Buffalo.

The meetings will focus on the Hyde County Wind Farm near Highmore; an overview of the 2003 legislation that changed the landscape for development of wind power; electricity transmission issues; the challenges and obstacles facing South Dakota wind development; small wind realities; SDSU's Wind Resource Assessment Network (WRAN) project; and landowner issues.

"In order for South Dakota to pu elf on the map for renewable energy development, we all need to work together," says Commission Vice Chairman Gary Hanson. "These meetings will serve as that important first step in planning how we can create more wind energy development in South Dakota."

According to PUC Commissioner Jim Burg, now is the time to harness South Dakota's wind energy. "We're a close second, and creeping up to first place North Dakota as far as potential is concerned. We need to learn how to best utilize this form of renewable energy."

The April 28th meeting in Murdo will be held at the West Central Cooperative Building, 20 Main, in Murdo beginning at 7 p.m. Central Daylight Time (CDT). For more information on any of the upcoming meetings, you are encouraged to call the PUC at 1-800-332-1782, or check their Web site at