November 15, 2012

Opponents of Goodhue County wind farm seek permit revocation

By John Weiss | The Post-Bulletin | Nov 15, 2012 |

ST. PAUL – Opponents of the New Era Wind Farm proposed for Goodhue County asked the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission on Tuesday to revoke the project’s permit because of false statements given about it and changes in its ownership.

The project was first proposed in 2008 but has changed ownership and names several times. Peter Mastic is now the owner and lists Goodhue as New Era’s headquarters. He has said the change really means the project has returned to its roots, with local control and input. Eventually, local people on his board will be co-owners of the 78-megawatt project, he said.

That change and alleged misstatements to the PUC, however, warrant revoking the permits, according to the filing of Goodhue Wind Truth. The filing states, “This pattern of false statements spills over to affect the process, mission, and standards of the Commission. The litany of repeated false statements prevented reasonable, informed decision-making by the Commission, and may well have warranted a different decision.”

If the PUC does transfer the permit to New Era, then the PUC should make several stipulations, including that ownership is specifically disclosed, all permits be amended to reflect that, and any future ownership changes be pre-approved by the PUC, the organization says.

It is also asking that the commission to look into the possibility that the project will receive Community Based Energy Development status, which would afford it some economic advantages.

[Click here to download Goodhue Wind Truth’s complaint.]

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