TRIPP, S.D. (AP) — Construction of a $115 million wind farm in southeastern South Dakota is being delayed because of investors' uncertainty about a federal wind energy production tax credit.
Roland Jurgens, a senior project manager with Carstensen Energy, of Chokio, Minnesota, said he still expects the first 22 turbines to be built near Tripp by the end of the year, with 21 more done early next year.
"We are still moving forward," he told The Daily Republic newspaper (http://bit.ly/1ojInrw ). "The project is not dead."
Worker William Douglas, of Brandon, said he was told to be ready to work in early June and isn't holding out much hope for the future of the project.
"I've given up on it," he said.
The tax credit expired at the end of last year, though projects that started before that might still qualify. Investors in the project near Tripp are waiting for the Internal Revenue Service to determine which projects qualify, according to Jurgens.
A bill to renew the tax credit is in the Senate but isn't expected to be acted on until after the November elections, said Paul Bachman, executive director of the South Dakota Wind Energy Association,
"We do still expect that to pass," he said. "In the meantime, we've got projects in development that are in limbo until that issue is decided."
If the Tripp project becomes reality, the wind farm's 43 turbines will produce electricity for NorthWestern Energy.