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Wind Power News: Minnesota

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These news and opinion items are gathered by National Wind Watch in its noncommercial educational effort to help keep readers informed about developments related to industrial wind energy. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions of National Wind Watch. They are the products of and owned by the organizations or individuals noted and are shared here according to “fair use” and “fair dealing” provisions of copyright law.

September 12, 2023 • MinnesotaPrint storyE-mail story

Willmar wind turbine stands idle while awaiting a $95 part

As has been the trend since February, the August wind turbine report presented Monday during the Willmar Municipal Utilities Commission meeting was less than stellar – again foreshadowing the potential demise of wind power in Willmar. Wind turbine number three, which has been causing the most trouble for Willmar Municipal Utilities this year, was available 35.5% of the time in August, according to Facilities and Maintenance Supervisor Kevin Marti. Wind turbine number four was available 61.4% of the time. The total . . . Complete story »

August 26, 2023 • MinnesotaPrint storyE-mail story

Problems continue to plague Willmar’s wind turbines

After a stellar year in 2022, maintenance issues continue to plague Willmar Municipal Utilities’ two wind turbines in 2023, potentially signaling the end of the local wind power venture. “Whether we got lucky (in 2022), or my experience with equipment is that it always runs best before it dies on you. It has that last hurrah and sails off,” said Facilities and Maintenance Supervisor Kevin Marti during the wind turbine report at the July 10 meeting of the Municipal Utilities . . . Complete story »

December 19, 2022 • MinnesotaPrint storyE-mail story

Despite recycling efforts, many older wind turbine blades still end up in landfills

When a 2003-vintage wind farm in southwestern Minnesota became obsolete, its owner Allete Clean Energy tore it down and built anew. The new Northern Wind project came online last month with bigger turbines that produce 32% more electricity than the old facility. The new turbines scoop up so much more wind that Allete needed to erect only 37 of them. There’s only one snag: Most of the blades from those 65 old turbines were cut into chunks and are now . . . Complete story »

November 27, 2022 • MinnesotaPrint storyE-mail story

Willmar, Minn., wind turbines may be nearing end of their useful life

With the original manufacturer no longer in existence, it is becoming more and more difficult for Willmar Municipal Utilities to find replacement parts for its aging wind turbines. Willmar, Minnesota’s wind turbines, constructed and put into operation in 2009, may be close to the end of their useful lifespan to generate power for the city. The lifetime expectancy for the turbines was estimated to be 20 years when constructed. However, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find replacement parts needed . . . Complete story »

August 27, 2022 • MinnesotaPrint storyE-mail story

PUC approves site permits for solar, wind hybrid projects in SW Minn.

The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission this week approved site permits and related transmission routes for the Big Bend Wind and Red Rock Solar projects in southwest Minnesota. It will be the state’s largest hybrid renewable energy project. When complete the sites will produce about 300 megawatts of windpower and up to 60 megawatts of solar generation. The project will install 55 turbines at the Big Bend wind project and solar panels on more than 480 acres on nearby land for . . . Complete story »

July 6, 2022 • MinnesotaPrint storyE-mail story

Clean energy?

If you drive from Lake Wilson through the country towards the hills of Chandler and west to Edgerton, you will see a large wind tower re-powering project taking place. Allete Clean Energy Company is in the process of re-powering and expanding the Chanarambie and Viking Wind projects in Murray County. These wind farms became operational in the early 2000s. In 2015, Allete Clean Energy acquired the projects and is now decommissioning 65 wind towers. They will eventually be replaced with . . . Complete story »

July 6, 2022 • MinnesotaPrint storyE-mail story

Power line congestion leads to wind turbine shutdowns, denting county budgets

So many wind turbines have sprouted in Minnesota in recent years that power lines can’t handle them all – and some rural counties are paying the price. Wind turbines in parts of southern Minnesota are more commonly being shut off periodically because of transmission congestion. Wind farm taxes are key revenue sources for counties, and money only flows when the turbines are turning. The 18 counties in Minnesota’s wind belt reported a 14% drop in wind tax revenue in 2021, compared . . . Complete story »

June 17, 2022 • MinnesotaPrint storyE-mail story

Shakopee Mdewakanton tribe to remove wind turbine this summer

Prior Lake, Minn. – The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community (SMSC) is planning to remove the 262-foot-tall wind turbine on its reservation in Prior Lake this summer. The tribe first installed the 1.5-megawatt turbine in 2009 to provide a green energy source, but the turbine has since had significant reliability issues and is no longer cost-effective to maintain. “Unfortunately, this turbine is no longer a good fit for the location or our tribe’s needs,” said SMSC Chairman Keith Anderson. “One of . . . Complete story »

May 14, 2022 • MinnesotaPrint storyE-mail story

Landowners challenge Dodge County wind project

A massive wind farm project is in the works in Dodge, Steele and Mower county. The project is an approximate $400 million investment for the counties. NextEra Energy is planning to build a wind farm with 79 wind turbines south of Claremont and a 27 mile long transmission from Claremont to east of Sargeant. The project would bring in 400 construction jobs and between $970,000 – $1,180,000 in annual production taxes. But not everybody is onboard with the project. “If . . . Complete story »

May 11, 2022 • MinnesotaPrint storyE-mail story

Dodge County Wind Project met with contention from landowners

An energy company is looking to build a wind farm and additional facilities in Dodge, Steele and Mower county to increase renewable energy. Tuesday, The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission and the Minnesota Department of Commerce hosted a public information meeting in Kasson to share a bit more information on the project. it’s called the Dodge County Wind Project. The project would bring 260 megawatts of clean, renewable energy to the area. The wind farm would be built just south of . . . Complete story »

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