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Wind project data collection efforts have failed

The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission rejected AWA Goodhue’s Avian/Bat Protection Plan in February due to deficient collection of bat survey information. Per Condition 13.1.2 of the site permit, AWA was “to install at least two acoustic bat monitoring devices on each meteorological tower to collect data…at a minimum from May 1, 2012, to November 15, 2012.”

On May 2, 2012, AWA’s field specialist came before the Belle Creek Township requesting permits for three meteorological towers to acquire “additional” bat and wind data.

The three proposed towers are in Belle Creek Township. Approximately 20 percent of AWA’s wind turbines are slated in Minneola Township; no meteorological towers are proposed there.

Are there NO bats in Minneola Township, a rich area near the Zumbro River? Why did AWA delay requesting these permits? This project is divided into two parts (39 MW each). Is AWA Goodhue monitoring just the north part and giving up the southern part of the project?

The proposed towers are not up yet, although data collection for the bat survey was ordered to start May 1. Both the USFWS and DNR felt May was important for collecting data during spring bat migration.

Spring bat migration is pretty much over. AWA Goodhue missed it again.

How will data collection reflect actual bat number and species now? Does this mean their pursuit of a permit is pretty much over as well?

Barbara A. Stussy