A new wind turbine project could be coming to Dodge, Mower and Steele counties this time next year.
Dodge County Wind LLC, a subsidiary of NextEra Energy based in Jupiter, Fla., has proposed a 259 megawatt powered wind farm that will stretch through the three counties. The wind farm would have up to 79 turbines that with heights up to 486.5 feet tall.
The proposed turbine project is still in the early stages of development. Will Seuffet, executive secretary of the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, shared where the project currently stands within public utilities at the state level.
“Dodge County Wind, LLC is seeking three approvals from the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission: a certificate of need, a wind site permit, and a route permit for the (high-voltage transmission line). An order finding applications complete was issued March 8, 2022. This means that the three applications were found to contain the information required in statute and rule and the project review process could begin,” said Seuffet.
Dodge County Wind is not unfamiliar with the community they are focusing the project in. The site would be centered south of Claremont and extend from eastern Steele County to western Dodge County south of U.S. Highway 14. The eastern edge of the wind farm would be south of Dodge Center but west of Minnesota Highway 56.
Dodge County Wind Project Lead, Mark Lennox, has spent time in Dodge County weekly all year engaging with community members on why this is the location for this project.
“I’ve done regular outreach to townships and have attended local board meetings and many conversations with landowners, regular stakeholders, and who just want to know more about the project. And we’re getting really good feedback. We’re able to improve the project so that’s why it’s so valuable to be up in the area as often as I am,” Lennox said.
The next step in this project is a public hearing. There will be two public hearings hosted at the Kasson State Theater on Tuesday, May 10. The first will take place at 1 p.m. and the second at 6 p.m. The hearing will allow for any members of the public who will be in the area of this project’s construction to speak to the Public Utilities Commission and Dodge County Wind engineers concerning issues of environmental review.
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