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Stearns sets 500-foot setback for wind turbines  

Credit:  By Kirsti Marohn, St Cloud Times, www.sctimes.com 15 December 2010 ~~

Stearns County won’t require large wind turbines to be more than half a mile from homes as some county residents had hoped.

The county board Tuesday adopted rules that require large wind turbines to be at least 500 feet from homes whose owners have signed agreements with the wind energy company. That’s actually less than the 750 feet the county’s old ordinance required.

The board did require turbines to be at least 1,000 feet from homes whose owners aren’t participating in the wind project. The turbines also must be a sufficient distance from homes to meet state noise standards.

Gary and LuAnn Reeck of Paynesville had asked the county to require sixth-tenths of a mile between turbines and homes. The county board determined the shorter setbacks were adequate to protect public health and safety.

Geronimo Wind Energy recently received state approval to build a wind farm with up to 60 turbines near Paynesville.

Source:  By Kirsti Marohn, St Cloud Times, www.sctimes.com 15 December 2010

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