​NextEra Energy Resources proposes to construct, own, operate, and maintain the Hyde County Wind Energy Center Project, consisting of up to 100 wind turbine generators with a combined total generating capacity of 150 MW, located within an approximately 15,000-acre site in Hyde County, South Dakota, north of Fort Thompson Substation and Pierre.

NextEra has applied to interconnect its proposed Project to WAPA’s existing Fort Thompson Substation in Buffalo County, South Dakota. Preliminary studies indicate that the power system can accommodate the proposed interconnection without negatively affecting system reliability or power deliveries to existing customers. The transmission system may require network and/or transmission system upgrades as determined in the final studies. Any such upgrades would be funded by NextEra as a condition of the interconnection.

NextEra proposes to construct up to 100 wind turbine generators with a combined total generating capacity of 150 MW, located within an approximately 15,000-acre site. The turbines would be located in short east-west oriented strings, with the strings widely scattered over an area of roughly 6 by 7 miles in size. Each turbine would be approximately 389 feet tall from tip of blade to base, and 262 feet tall from the ground to the hub. In addition to the turbines, other proposed Project facilities would include all-weather access roads to each turbine location; underground power collection lines linking turbines to the Project collector substation; the Project collector substation; an approximately 25-mile-long high-voltage transmission line linking the collector substation to WAPA’s Fort Thompson Substation; operation and maintenance facilities and yard; Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition equipment and metering equipment; and two or three permanent meteorological towers.

NextEra plans to upgrade the existing East River Electric Cooperative 69-kilovolt transmission line that passes the west boundary of its site and continues south into Fort Thompson Substation to provide the necessary transmission link to the substation. NextEra would need to upgrade approximately 25 miles of the existing transmission line to 230-kV to provide a suitable transmission path for their proposed Project.

The proposed wind farm Project would be located entirely on private lands; no State- or Federal-managed land would be affected. The transmission line connecting the proposed wind farm to Fort Thompson Substation would, however, cross lands of the Crow Creek Indian Reservation.

NextEra intends to provide renewable energy to local utilities in response to South Dakota’s Renewable Energy Portfolio Standards, passed in 2008, which mandate that 10 percent of all electricity consumed in the State be produced from renewable sources by 2015.


Western is cancelling the preparation of an environmental impact statement on Next Era’s request to interconnect the Hyde County Wind Energy Center Project.  NextEra decided to suspend further action on its proposed Project, and Western is now terminating the National Environmental Policy Act review process on its interconnection decision and NextEra’s proposed Project. NextEra could decide to reinitiate the proposed Project at some future date. In that event Western would issue a new Notice of Intent, and would start an entirely new NEPA process.



Matt Marsh
Upper Great Plains Regional Office
Western Area Power Administration
P.O. Box 35800
Billings, MT  59107-5800
E-mail: MMarsh@wapa.gov


Last modified on June 29th, 2023