The first major wind turbine project in Yellow Medicine County has received approval from the county commissioners.
During the Yellow Medicine County board meeting Tuesday, the board voted to approve the proposed project that would see 20 megawatts developed in Fortier Township near Canby.
Jeff Hemish of Canby received support from the Yellow Medicine County Planning and Zoning board during the June 19 meeting which helped get the 20- megawatt project approved by the county commissioners.
The 20-megawatt project will be spread over 10 wind turbines Hemish said.
Randy Jacobson, Yellow Medicine County zoning administrator, said the only response he received in regard to the project prior to the June 19 meeting was a letter from the Department of Natural Resources.
Jacobson said the DNR expressed concern about three of the turbines and the proximity to a Wildlife Management Area.
According to the minutes from the June 19 meeting, “the DNR is requesting that those turbines be moved out of the flyway between the two (Wildlife Management Areas).
Jeff Bendel represented the project during the meeting Tuesday. Bendel said he is working with the DNR to work out the issues before moving forward.
Bendel said the project will be developed right along an Otter Tail Power transmission line and the power will be sold to Xcel Energy.
According to Jacobson, a majority of the land is in CRP with the remaining being crop land.
There was concern expressed about the final two turbines which were within the county property line setback regulations.
Jacobson said a variance can be granted, but project organizers would need to get proper documents filled out.
Bendel said there is a verbal agreement with the property owner but he will seek a written agreement.
Commissioner Ron Antony, who in the past has expressed interest in seeing wind power development in the county, said he was happy to see the project coming into Yellow Medicine County.
“I’m glad to have you coming in,” Antony said. “Maybe this will break the door down for more projects.”
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