Project Description: NextEra Energy Resources, LLC, proposes to construct the Swan Lake Wind Project (Project) in Turner and Yankton Counties, South Dakota.  The proposed Project would involve construction of a 248-megawatt (MW) wind farm generating facility that includes approximately 97 turbines and associated pads, and would interconnect to the Western Area Power Administration’s (WAPA) Utica V-Fodness 230 kilovolt transmission line.

WAPA’s Involvement: If there is available transmission capacity on the federal transmission system, WAPA provides open access to transmission services so that energy producers can transmit power to their customers.  Any entity requesting transmission services must submit an interconnection application.  For more information about the interconnection process, visit WAPA’s website here.  The federal interconnection process is separate from any state, county, or local permitting and approvals that may be required.

The proposed interconnection of the Project to WAPA’s transmission system is a federal action under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).  As a result, an Environmental Assessment (EA) will be prepared to evaluate the environmental effects of the Project.  The EA will tier from the analysis conducted in the Upper Great Plains Wind Energy Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS).  The PEIS can be viewed he​re​.  If WAPA finds there are no significant environmental impacts, WAPA will prepare a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) and issue a decision.  Together, the EA and the PEIS would comprise the NEPA documentation for this proposed federal action.  If significant impacts are identified, the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) process would be initiated.  An EIS provides a more thorough evaluation of impacts and alternatives, as well as a more formal public involvement process.

Public Involvement: One of the first steps in the NEPA process is public scoping.  During the scoping process, input is requested from the public, government agencies, Tribal governments, and others to identify issues and alternatives that will help WAPA define the scope of the EA.

WAPA is announcing the public scoping period for the Project. A public scoping meeting will be held virtually over Zoom Webinar on Wednesday, March 13, 2024, from 6:00-8:00 PM CT (5:00-7:00 PM MT).  The virtual scoping meeting will be held to provide an opportunity for interested parties to learn about the Project from resource specialists and to submit written and verbal comments. During the meeting, WAPA will give a short presentation about the Project and NEPA scoping process and provide an opportunity to ask questions.

To learn more about this Project and to share your ideas, join us at:

Zoom: https://swca.zoom.us/s/93649054520
Webinar / Meeting ID:
936 4905 4520
One Tap Mobile:
+17209289299,,93649054520# or +12133388477,,93649054520#
Telephone:
+1 651 372 8299 or 888 475 4499 (Toll Free)

Disclaimer: To remain anonymous, call in or insert the Meeting ID in the Zoom application.  

The public meeting will be recorded and made available for the public on WAPA’s website.

Comments may also be submitted by:

Mail to:
Western Area Power Administration
UGP NEPA Coordinator
2900 4th Avenue North
Billings, MT 59101-1266

Email to: NEPA@wapa.gov with Swan Lake Wind Comment in subject line

Comments should be provided or postmarked no later than April 12, 2024. 

The next step in the NEPA process will be to prepare a draft EA to analyze environmental impacts of the proposal.  Once prepared, a draft of the EA will be available for public review and comment.  If you wish to be notified when the draft EA is available, please contact WAPA using one of the methods listed.

PROJECT LINKS

CONTACT INFORMATION

Western Area Power Administration
UGP NEPA Coordinator
2900 4th Avenue North
Billings, MT 59101-1266
(406) 255-2810
nepa@wapa.gov