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Goodhue County wind ordinance update hasn’t solved problems  

Credit:  By Brett Boese, The Post-Bulletin, www.postbulletin.com 19 October 2010 ~~

Goodhue County updated its wind ordinance last week, but it hasn’t solved any problems.

The county created a a 10-rotor diameter setback for nonparticipants that was approved, which would equal 2,710 feet for the 52-turbine AWA Goodhue wind farm project proposed between Goodhue and Zumbrota.

If anything, it raised more questions as everyone waits to see how much consideration the language will receive at Thursday’s meeting of the state Public Utilities Commission, which could discard the recommendation if “good cause” is found. The state is the regulating authority on any project of more than 5 megawatts.

National Wind’s Chuck Burdick and Geronimo Wind’s Kyle Simmons hope the PUC will overrule the county’s stringent ordinance. Read about it in Tuesday’s print edition.

Timeline

• February 2007: State issues renewable energy mandate; Kenyon Wind project issues draft site permit.

• October 2007: County adopts first wind ordinance.

• Fall 2008: Goodhue Wind begins public meetings; Geronimo Wind begins planning.

• Spring 2009: Opposition group Goodhue Wind Truth is formed.

• July 2009: Goodhue Wind signs power purchase agreement with Xcel Energy.

• December 2009: American Wind Alliance and billionaire T. Boone Pickens invest in Goodhue Wind project.

• January 2010: Goodhue Wind Truth members try to amend county wind ordinance.

• April 2010: Amendment is denied; subcommittee is formed to update ordinance; Horizon Wind’s project is announced.

• July 2010: Two-day public hearing held at Goodhue High School.

• September 2010: Amended version of subcommittee recommendation sent to county board.

• Oct. 5, 2010: County board adopts simplified wind ordinance.

• Oct. 21, 2010: Minnesota Public Utilities Commission hearings for Goodhue Wind project.

Source:  By Brett Boese, The Post-Bulletin, www.postbulletin.com 19 October 2010

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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