GOODHUE – An opponent of the controversial New Era Wind project that a developer is trying to build near Goodhue believes the developer may be ready to end the project.
“Absolutely” it’s over, said Kristi Rosenquist, of Zumbrota, a leader of Coalition for Sensible Siting.
In a letter to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, developer Peter Mastic said he hasn’t been able to get the project built and has been trying to sell its wind rights to third parties in other areas to recover at least past of the $15 million he has spent so far to build 78 megawatts of wind power.
“New Era initiated discussion with NSP (Xcel Energy that was going to buy the wind power) to assign its power contracts to a third-party wind project developer and site,” he wrote in a letter dated Wednesday. Three companies are interested and could get turbines turning this year or 2014. “Each of these projects is sited in a community that is far more receptive to wind energy than is Goodhue,” he wrote.
NSP wrote April 12 that New Era has 30 days to take care of its December default in providing the power. In that time, “New Era will continue to attempt to complete the assignment and the cure of any and all defaults under the power contracts,” Mastic wrote.
Because of that, New Era has asked the PUC to hold off on any more work on an avian and bat protection agreement.
After reading that letter, Rosenquist said she believes it means that the project is done. “The wind project was a bad idea here,” she said.
Mastic, his attorney and a PUC spokesman did not return calls for comment and clarification this morning.
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