Wind Power News: Minnesota
These news and opinion items are gathered by National Wind Watch to help keep readers informed about developments related to industrial wind energy. They are the products of the organizations or individuals noted and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of National Wind Watch.
SAINT PAUL — The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission is waiting to hear from Xcel Energy and New Era Wind in Goodhue County about what changes have taken place in the controversial wind project’s power purchase agreement. Due to an unprecedented permitting process that has stretched more than four years — a typical project is approved in 6-12 months — New Era was issued notice of default in December by Xcel. Peter Mastic’s company proposed curing numerous defaults by assigning or . . .
A wind turbine in Mower County is believed to have been struck by lightning last month, effectively turning one of the three 37-meter blades into a wet noodle hanging roughly 400 feet in the air. The damaged turbine is located near Dexter and visible from Interstate 90. According to paperwork filed April 30 with the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, EDF Renewable Energy, formerly enXco, reported that one of 67 turbines in the 100.5 megawatt Wapsipinicon Wind Project failed during “extreme . . .
The Minnesota House passed a billion-dollar energy rate increase for Minnesota homeowners and businesses Tuesday after multiple efforts by members of both parties to stop it. Many outside environmental groups want Minnesota to become like other states and nations that exercise government control over power producers; this helped push the House DFLers to pass HF 956, the energy omnibus bill. The bill will require 40 percent of energy produced by investor-owned utilities, such as Xcel Energy, to come from renewable . . .
Xcel Energy could begin the process of pulling out of a power purchasing agreement with New Era Wind Farm as early as Monday, a utility director said. New Era was given until Sunday May 12 to resolve a delay in the production of a 78-megawatt wind farm in Goodhue County that is causing the company to default on an agreement to sell generated power, said Jim Alders of Xcel Energy. If New Era provides no resolution as of the May . . .
MINNEAPOLIS — You don’t have to be a stamp collector to notice something different about some of your snail mail lately. The cancellation mark rolling over the stamp on many envelopes consists of four stick-like towers and a shimmering sun over an ink-blotted tag line for “Earth Day 2013”. The seemingly innocuous US Postal Service (USPS) Earth Day postal mark will be gone like the wind as of May 1, but some opponents of corporate wind power projects have no . . .
As I write this on Earth Day, I’m preparing for the Public Utilities Commission’s meeting next week which may seal the fate of the proposed Goodhue Wind project. This is a poignant example of our obligation to respect the earth and its residents. By whatever name, this wind project has failed abysmally on all counts. Citizen groups, individuals and elected officials have worked on this project for almost five years, and they have learned not only about this particular project, . . .
MANKATO — Today solar electricity is rare in Minnesota because it is so expensive, at least five times as costly as wind power. The Legislature is weighing a requirement that the state’s utilities generate 4 percent of their electricity from solar power by 2025. The bill would also require utilities to get 40 percent of their power from renewable sources by 2030. The current standard, set in 2007, calls for 25 percent renewable power by 2025 for most utilities and . . .
GOODHUE COUNTY – A letter from the owner of a proposed wind farm to regulators shows his frustration in the permitting process and a willingness to sell off assets of his investment. “New Era has no confidence that due process for this project will ever end, nor that an ABPP (Avian and Bat Protection Plan) will ever be approved, however comprehensively and carefully drafted,” said Peter Mastic, owner of New Era Wind Farm, in an April 17 letter to the . . .
GOODHUE — An opponent of the controversial New Era Wind project that a developer is trying to build near Goodhue believes the developer may be ready to end the project. “Absolutely” it’s over, said Kristi Rosenquist, of Zumbrota, a leader of Coalition for Sensible Siting. In a letter to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, developer Peter Mastic said he hasn’t been able to get the project built and has been trying to sell its wind rights to third parties in . . .
Little noticed in legislative debates over taxes and budgets, House File 956 (HF 956), an Omnibus Energy bill, is quietly working its way through committee hearings, on its way to the floor of the Minnesota House of Representatives. A related bill, Senate File 901, is on a similar path in the Minnesota Senate. HF 956 is sponsored by DFL Representatives Melissa Horton and Bill Morgan. It imposes a new Renewable Energy Standard (RES), requiring investor owned utilities to get 40 . . .