Dedication ceremonies for the $363-million Crow Lake Project – the largest wind project in the United States owned solely by a cooperative — were held Thursday, June 23, 2011 at the school gymnasium in White Lake, S.D. The wind project was placed into full operation in February of this year.
The ceremony was originally to be held at the wind farm site near Crow Lake. The change of location to White Lake was necessitated by wet conditions at the wind farm.
The Crow Lake Wind Project is owned by PrairieWinds SD 1 Inc., a subsidiary of Basin Electric Power Cooperative, Bismarck, N.D. The project is located about 14 miles north of White Lake.
South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard spoke to a crowd of about 400 people from the area about what this project means for South Dakota. “In the past, wind power meant downed trees, snapped power lines and the lights going out. Now, wind power means having electricity to keep our lights on,” he said. “And thanks to the partnerships that helped make this project happen, South Dakota now has 162 more megawatts of wind generation power, more jobs, and an infrastructure to train new wind technicians.”