A composite of historic Pipestone buildings featuring Sioux quartzite quarried in the area
development on the Prarie
Buffalo Ridge is a 62-mile-long segment of the Bemis Moraine (a mound of glacial deposits including rocks) located in Lincoln and Pipestone Counties in southwest Minnesota and Brookings County, South Dakota. Farming consists primarily of agricultural crops (corn, soybeans, small grains and hay; pasture).
There are three phases of wind power/electrical development within the Buffalo Ridge Wind Resource Area on US 14 between Marshall and Lake Benton. The generators are at the top of 168-foot hollow steel towers. Three blades on the turbines are painted black to improve their ability to shed ice and wind sensors are kept free of ice by heat lamps positioned above them. Landowners receive lump sum payments and the town of Lake Benton Township receives property taxes for Lincoln County and its school district.
The project is a consequence of a 1994 agreement with the State of Minnesota, in return for storage of additional nuclear waste in outdoor metal casks at Prairie Island in Red Wing Minnesota. A new historical society in Lake Benton has begun to develop school materials about wind power for 10,000 Minnesota sixth-graders and is raising money to build a learning center with a working wind generator and other exhibits for students and tour groups.