Texas-based energy company ENGIE North America has secured the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) siting permit for its 200MW North Bend wind project.

The company will build the proposed wind facility to the west of its Triple H Wind Farm, on a site covering about 46,931 acres of land in Hyde and Hughes counties.

The North Bend wind project is planned to feature 71 wind turbines, to generate up to 200MW.

It will be equipped with access roads, underground 34.5kV electrical collector lines, underground fibre-optic cable, and a 34.5kV to 230kV collection substation.

In addition, the facility will have, a 230kV interconnection switching station, an aircraft detection lighting system, and a permanent meteorological tower.

Estimated to cost around $265m-$285m, the North Bend wind farm is anticipated to become operational in late 2023.

It will interconnect to Western Area Power Administration’s 230kV Fort Thompson-Oahe transmission line, which crosses the southern portion of the project area.

Basin Electric Power Cooperative will offtake the power produced by the wind project.

Hughes County farmers Judi Bollweg and Michael Bollweg individually, and on behalf of the Bollweg family, objected to the construction of the wind project.

Last month, the project entity North Bend Wind, LLC and PUC reached an agreement, which specifies 45 guidelines to follow during the construction and operation of the wind project.

The conditions include land and road restoration, shadow flicker, noise levels, ice detection and ice throw, post-construction grouse lek monitoring and decommissioning.

PUC chairman Chris Nelson said: “It’s obvious that significant negotiations have taken place between parties to get us to this point. My concern is for landowners; to ensure that reclamation will be done properly and that things will be made whole for landowners once construction is done.

“Largely, the conditions parties have stipulated to have worked for other wind farm permits that have been issued by the PUC. It’s my belief that landowners will be protected in the issuing of this permit.”

PUC vice chairperson Kristie Fiegen said: “Our staff take their role in protecting all landowners and citizens very seriously and I really appreciate the countless hours they work to protect the land and interests of both participants and non-participants alike.”