Buffalo Ridge Wind Towers

We are a people that desire to live in a clean environment, and to assist others in doing the same. The wind farms around Hendricks and the surrounding areas offset over a billion pounds of pollution annually.

Wind towers by a nearby farm

The need for pollution prevention instigated a return to wind power in the 1990's. Our Lincoln County was a leader in this national effort, erecting the first wind farm in any of the surrounding states. Hendricks sits atop the Buffalo Ridge, an elongated area extending from Watertown SD diagonally across southwestern Minnesota and into Iowa. Created by a glacial drift from the last ice age, the Buffalo Ridge is ideal for wind power generation.

1993 saw the first wind farm clusters built around Lake Benton, our neighbors to the south. This cluster included 73 towers and was built by the Kennetech Corporation. The next wind farm cluster was built by Zond Energy Systems of Tehachapi California. This cluster included 143 of the Z-750 wind turbines, the largest wind turbines manufactured in the U.S. A Z-750 turbine stands 257 feet tall and weighs 196,000 pounds. Each turbine has 3 blades with a rotor diameter of 157.44 feet, and can supply the annual electricity needs of 250 homes. Many wind clusters have been added to the wind farm since then (see more wind farm pictures), and aeronautical scientists from around the globe descend into the Hendricks and Lake Benton areas for wind power testing. The wind farm now accumulatively offsets over a billion pounds of carbon dioxide and over 450,000 tons of coal.

Wind towers by a nearby farm

The wind farm offers visitors the unique experience of staying overnight on an operating wind farm. Located just 6 miles straight south of Hendricks, the wind farm has eight lodge style rooms available for those wanting to experience wind power in person (see the area lodging page for details). The wind farm lodging is adjacent to a corporate office, center for operations, maintenance office, and center for service. The Wind Center also has the honor of being the home-away-from-home for many aeronautical scientists and technicians from around the globe.