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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, July 25, 2006
CONTACT: Leah Mohr, South Dakota Public Utilities Commission, (605) 773-3201


Sahr promotes wind energy in Western U.S.

PIERRE, S.D. — Public Utilities Commission Chairman Bob Sahr participated with a select group of energy leaders in a regional workshop focused on aggressively increasing clean power in the western United States.

"Vision, planning and hard work are all needed to move our nation toward a smarter energy mix with more renewable energy like wind power," said Sahr. "While the group's goals are aggressive, our country has always achieved the most when we have teamed together foresight, intellect and a can-do attitude.

"We analyzed scenarios where South Dakota could see anywhere from an additional 750 megawatts to 2,900 megawatts of wind energy," said Sahr. "This would bring tremendous benefits to our state and help provide the Western U.S. with much-needed clean power over the next decade."

The group focused on how to develop an additional 30,000 megawatts of clean energy by 2015; increase energy efficiency 20 percent by 2020; and ensure safe, reliable transmission for the next 25 years. These are recommendations from the Clean and Diversified Energy Advisory Committee.

More than 120 energy leaders participated in the forum that included utilities, transmission owners, wind developers, advocacy groups and government officials. Chairman Sahr and PUC analyst Steve Wegman represented the State of South Dakota. The event was held in Denver, Colo., July 18-19, and was hosted by the National Wind Coordinating Committee and the Western Governor's Association. PUC Commissioner Gary Hanson is a member of the NWCC and was involved in the strategic planning of the conference.

"It was an honor to work with top leaders from government, associations and industry to lay the groundwork for the next decade's energy," said Sahr. "The group enacted action plans that will set the stage for the future development of western renewable energy."

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