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Gov. Mike Rounds, R-S.D., and Heartland Consumers Power District recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to encourage the development of wind power. According to the governor's office, the MOU states that South Dakota wind energy will now be used for additional power needs at South Dakota State University (SDSU) and the University of South Dakota (USD).

"This agreement makes great sense for South Dakota," comments Rounds. "It's a good way to supply the energy needs at two of our state universities and also encourage the growing wind power industry in our state - a true win for all parties involved."

The MOU updates an existing agreement originally created in 1976 for Heartland to supply the growing energy needs at SDSU and USD. Under the original agreement, Heartland pledged to meet the energy demand at SDSU and USD that exceeded the universities' Western Area Power Authority (WAPA) power allocation. The new agreement ensures that the power will come from South Dakota-based wind industry, the governor's office adds.

In related news, Babcock & Brown, through its affiliate Wessington Wind I LLC, will construct, own and operate a wind farm of up to 51 MW in capacity near Wessington Springs in Jerauld County, S.D.

The project will be operational by the end of 2008 and will supply renewable wind power to the IS transmission grid owned by WAPA, Basin Electric Power Cooperative and Heartland, the companies say. Through a power purchase agreement that was previously announced, Heartland will purchase the wind energy from Babcock & Brown's wind farm in Jerauld County.

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