While Goodhue County approved an updated wind ordinance Tuesday, the state still has a number of regulatory concerns, according to state Rep. Tim Kelly, R-Red Wing.
Kelly and state Rep. Steve Drazkowski, R-Mazeppa, have taken the lead in bipartisan legislation to clarify Community Based Energy Development status, which Kelly says is being manipulated by large commercial projects. He didn’t specifically refer to the massive Goodhue County project being developed by AWA Goodhue, but many residents have in recent months.
Kelly and others spoke during a public comment period at Tuesday’s county board meeting.
“What we feel at the state level is we have a cookie cutter approach for wind energy, and … it’s not one size fits all,” Kelly said.
The county board on Tuesday also approved three documents related to the AWA Goodhue wind power project proposed for Goodhue County.
One is a development agreement, which, among other things, assures that local roads will be restored after construction. The board approved the agreement unanimously but made it clear that things can move forward only if the project is approved by the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission.
The board also approved two conditional use permits on 4-1 votes; commissioner Ron Allen dissented both times because he believes the permits send the wrong message to state officials. The permits mean a 3.1-mile transmission line and an electrical switching station will be installed next spring if the project is approved by the PUC.
AWA Goodhue has signed easements for 21 of the 22 properties along the transmission line. The missing signature will not adversely affect construction.
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