FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2009
CONTACT: Leah Mohr, Communications Manager, South Dakota Public Utilities Commission, (605) 773-3201
PUC urges landowner care regarding wind energy easements
PIERRE, S.D. – As interest and activity in wind energy grows in South Dakota, so should the amount of care landowners place in considering easement agreements offered by wind energy developers, suggests the state's Public Utilities Commission.
"South Dakotans are generally protective of their assets and we just encourage landowners to keep that protection top-of-mind when they may be considering an easement for a wind energy facility on their property," suggests PUC Chairman Dusty Johnson.
Landowners asked to sign an easement with a wind energy developer should understand that monetary compensation is standard. "If a developer asks a landowner to sign an easement but does not offer any form of upfront payment for the easement – that should send up a red flag," stated PUC Vice Chairman Steve Kolbeck.
Landowners should seek professional advice from their personal attorney and accountant before they sign an easement. They can also conduct their own general research by reading the "South Dakota Landowner's Wind Power Development Handbook," accessible from the PUC Web site, www.PUC.SD.gov. The publication has been produced by the South Dakota Energy Infrastructure Authority, the PUC, and the South Dakota Attorney General's Office. The trade association Windustry is a helpful resource, as well. Information about easements can be found on their Web site, www.Windustry.org, under the tab labeled "Your Wind Project."
"It's also a good idea for landowners to learn all they can about the wind energy developer they are dealing with," said PUC Commissioner Gary Hanson. The Business Services section on the Secretary of State's Web site at www.SDSOS.gov, is a helpful tool for researching companies doing business in the state.