I am disappointed with the outcome of the request by Goodhue County Attorney Steve Betcher to authorize him to re-file an appeal of the MPUC’s decisions resulting in the issuance of the site permit in the AWA Goodhue Wind Project on Nov. 15.
The key issue is local control and the ability to have our more stringent wind ordinance. The MPUC did NOT support the 10 rotor diameter setback. They are allowing AWA Goodhue to site turbines as close as 6 RD with no substantive research, studies or information to back this up.
Further, the MPUC has allowed many counties in Minnesota in the recent past to have farther siting setbacks to support their wind ordinances. There are even cases in Minnesota counties where a full half-mile or more was granted. And these areas have lower population densities than Goodhue County.
The “good faith effort” that was amended to the AWA Goodhue Wind Project site permit doesn’t even have to come back before the MPUC. The “staff” supporting the MPUC can make that decision. Who is monitoring what a “good faith effort” on AWA Goodhue’s part means? MPUC staff? God forbid!
It has been said that “industrial wind projects will be coming to southeastern Minnesota” by Commissioner Jim Bryant. Changes at the state legislative level are needed. I agree. But until that time, the county should be the advocate for the citizens who live here.
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