May 3, 2011

Judge issues wind recommendation

The Republican Eagle, 29 April 2011

Administrative Law Judge Kathleen Sheehy has issued her recommendation on a contested wind farm permitting case.

Sheehy’s findings generally said Goodhue County’s strict wind farm ordinance, passed in October, should not apply to Goodhue Wind’s proposed project.

The proposes 78 megawatt, 52-turbine wind farm project has spurred controversy, with opponents raising concerns including shadow flicker, stray voltage and other health issues.

But proponents have said the project helps bring Minnesota closer to its goal of cleaner energy and would bring money into the area.

Goodhue County passed an ordinance with strict limitations on the placement of wind turbines, measuring health effects and other areas. But Goodhue Wind said the restrictions essentially kill the project.

Sheehy’s recommendation, stemming from submitted documents and hearings that took place mid-March, will go to the Public Utilities Commission, which will make a final decision on the permit.

For more on this story, see Saturday’s edition of the R-E.

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