ST. PAUL – Two lawmakers introduced a pair of bills yesterday that would place new restrictions on wind farm developments.
Reps. Tim Kelly, R-Red Wing, and Steve Drazkowski, R-Mazeppa, are backing the bills. The first proposal would prohibit wind turbines from being built within a half mile of a homeowner’s property line in a township where there are at least 3 1/2 homes per square mile. The second bill would no longer allow larger wind farms to qualify for Community-Based Energy Development (C-BED) status. That status allows wind companies to charge utilities premium rates for the energy they produce.
Kelly said he supports alternative energy, including wind, but there need to be more protections in place for landowners and utility ratepayers. In particular, he said he is concerned about large wind companies with limited ties to Minnesota getting the C-BED status, which allows them to build in areas that may not otherwise make economic sense.
“I really have a problem with the way that (C-BED status) has been hijacked. It’s been manipulated,” Kelly said.
Read in Friday’s print edition about the details of the bills.
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