State awards wind development easement

State awards wind development easement The Commissioner of School and Public Lands, Bryce Healy, has announced that his office has awarded a commercial easement for the development of wind energy to Superior Renewable Energy of Houston, TX.

Healy said after reviewing the company's plan, his office decided that partnering with Superior Renewable Energy would be in the best interest of the state's permanent trust fund. The easement covers 800 acres of school land near Java.

"This project has the potential to generate hundreds of thousands of dollars," said Healy. "This is good news for the future of South Dakota's public schools."

In early April, the Office of School and Public Lands announced the easement bid letting to wind energy companies from across the United States. Companies that offered a bid by April 21 were offered a chance to submit a second bid, along with information clarifying their long-term plan for the

property.

Healy says Superior Renewable Energy presented evidence making it clear it would be in a position to build towers in the near future.

"They have a plan, they have signed on with other land owners in the area and they have secured the ability to transmit power," said Healy. "The information thus far indicates they will start constructing towers in the near future."

All these factors played into our decision to go with Superior Renewable Energy."

Public Utilities Commissioner Jim Burg congratulated Healy for furthering the development in wind energy in South Dakota. Burg is pleased that Superior Renewable Energy has chosen to build in north central South Dakota.

"I have had the pleasure of working with Superior Renewable Energy for the past year and I am excited to see them begin development on school land," said Burg. "They are advancing wind energy in the state and helping education. That is a very good thing for the state."

The Office of School and Public Lands manages over 800,000 acres of state trust land and oversees the State Permanent Trust Fund valued at $135 million. Each year the office returns approximately $12 million to South Dakota school districts and endowed institutions. The money is generated from surface and mineral leases and interest on the Permanent Trust Fund.

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