BELLE FOURCHE, S.D. (AP) — Butte County commissioners have approved an ordinance regulating wind farms.

The new ordinance comes after the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission last month approved a construction permit for a $210 million, 103-megawatt wind farm about 10 miles northeast of Newell, a community of about 600 people within Butte County.

The Black Hills Pioneer reports the ordinance is meant to ensure that construction of a wind energy facility is consistent with the county's land use policies and to establish a fair process to review and approve applications.

The Willow Creek Wind Energy Facility to be built by Wind Quarry LLC will include 45 wind turbines and will interconnect to a 115-kilovolt transmission line owned by the Western Area Power Administration. The farm could be operational as early as December 2017.

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