An experimental project involving the installation and testing of a single, giant wind turbine in Pelican Township was postponed yesterday when the developer notified township authorities that he could no longer secure the turbine.
“I am disappointed that I am going to have to rescind my pursuit of a wind turbine permit because the turbine is no longer available,” developer John Ihle of Plains States Energy said to the township’s board of supervisors Monday.
Named the Pelican Township Wind Project, the planned construction in Section 20 was an experimental project “of a single wind turbine in a size which has previously not been built,” according to notes taken at the township’s Feb. 8 meeting, where the proposal was first introduced.
The turbine would have been mounted atop a 260-foot tall tower, with a rotor mounted spanning 300 feet. The purpose of the experiment was to determine the value of installing a more powerful turbine than has typically been mated with the system.
“We were working with (Ihle) on this,” Otter Tail Power Company Director of Public Relations Cris Kling said. “The idea was that Otter Tail Power would purchase the output. But (Ihle) pulled the project. That is our understanding.”
“If I have another opportunity with Otter Tail Power and the manufacturer,” Ihle said, “I will be very well prepared with the information the board had asked me to provide. I may get that opportunity in 2008.”
The township board would be receptive to Ihle proposing the project again, according to Supervisor Thomas Langseth, provided the proper permit requests and preliminary information is supplied.
“We have some requirements that we need before we can grant any permits,” he said.
By Matt Bewley
The Daily Journal
13 March 2007
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