Deuel Harvest Wind Energy LLC (Deuel Harvest) is proposing to construct the up to 310.1- megawatt (MW) Deuel Harvest North Wind Farm (Project) in Deuel County, South Dakota (Figure 1.1). The Project area is approximately 19,726 hectares (ha; 48,743 acres [ac]). The proposed Project consists of several components, including 124 proposed wind turbine locations, access roads, underground electrical collector lines and communication cable, a project substation, an interconnection substation, a 150 foot gen-tie line, and additional associated facilities The Project currently anticipates beginning construction in Q4 2019, and beginning commercial operations in Q4 2020. The Project Bird and Bat Conservation Strategy (BBCS) provides strategies for mitigating risks to birds and bats during the construction and operation phases of the Project.
Environmental surveys of the Project area commenced in April 2016. An area larger than the final Project area was studied to provide the developer the flexibility to site the Project facilities away from high value environmental areas. The total area studied (Study Area) is 30,974 ha (76,542 ac) (Figure 1.2). The first year study area consisted of 21,248 ha (52,950 ac), and the Study Area expanded in early 2017 by an additional 9,548 ha (23,595 ac; expansion study area). The second year of field studies was conducted in the Current Project Area, hereafter referred to as the Project area (Figure 1.3).