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Wind energy project creates debate in Parkers Prairie

A potential wind energy project in Otter Tail County has created mixed emotions throughout the community.

Prairie Wind Energy LLC proposed to build a 100 MW 40 turbine large scale wind conversion system north of Parkers Prairie. The turbines would spread out over 24,000 acres of land in Parkers Prairie, Elmo, Effington and Folden.

Prairie Wind Energy said the project has many benefits, such as creating new jobs, but some businesses in the area fear they’re existing jobs might be in jeopardy.

Peterson Aerial Spray Owner, Ken Peterson and said 20% of his business is done in Parkers Prairie and if the turbines go up, his revenue will go down. Peterson said it’s nearly impossible and dangerous to spray with 500 ft tall turbines in the way and his business would lose up to $100,000 a year if they’re built.

“The location I think is wrong,” Peterson said, “Putting them up in prime agricultural land, because if it would even move just 10 miles to the west it wouldn’t affect me or the farmers in this area at all.”

The community has until October 19th to submit comments to Prairie Wind Energy LLC about the proposed project.