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Wind Power News: Minnesota


These news and opinion items are gathered by National Wind Watch to help keep readers informed about developments related to industrial wind energy. They are the products of the organizations or individuals noted and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of National Wind Watch.

June 13, 2018 • MinnesotaPrint storyE-mail story

Judge’s ruling against Minnesota wind farm causes alarm for advocates

A judge’s recommendation that a proposed Minnesota wind farm be nixed over turbine noise has drawn a flurry of opposition from the wind-power industry, which fears a chilling effect on development. In a rare move, Administrative Law Judge LauraSue Schlatter last month recommended that the Freeborn Wind farm be denied an operating permit, saying the southern Minnesota project failed to show it can meet state noise standards. Freeborn Wind’s developer, Invenergy, has objected, saying Schlatter’s interpretation of state noise rules . . . Complete story »

June 13, 2018 • Blogs, MinnesotaPrint storyE-mail story

Wind farm nuisance matter resolved – Buy the homeowners out!

Overview Wind “farms” can present land-use conflict issues for nearby landowners by creating nuisance-related issues associated with turbine noise, eyesore from flicker effects, broken blades, ice-throws, and collapsing towers, for example.  Courts have a great deal of flexibility in fashioning a remedy to deal with nuisance issues.  A recent order by a public regulatory commission is an illustration of this point. Wind Farm Nuisance Litigation Nuisance litigation involving large-scale “wind farms” is in its early stages, but there have been . . . Complete story »

June 7, 2018 • Letters, MinnesotaPrint storyE-mail story

Minnesota’s natural beauty marred by wind turbines

About 700 years ago, the Black Plague spread across Europe. Today Europe has succumbed to another plague, a White Plague, in the form of hundreds of thousands of massive, white, wind turbines. The Black Plague passed, leaving no lasting effects on the landscapes. The White Plague will not pass as quickly and will leave behind blotted landscapes. Soon, in a mere two or three decades, the quest of a few rational scientists will harness futuristic forms of energy able to . . . Complete story »

June 6, 2018 • Minnesota, WisconsinPrint storyE-mail story

Two homes near Bent Tree Wind Project bought by WPL because of noise complaints

PROCEDURAL HISTORY On October 20, 2009, the Commission issued a large wind energy conversion system (LWECS) site permit to Wisconsin Power and Light Company (WPL) for the approximately 200-megawatt first phase of the Bent Tree Wind Project (the Project), located in Freeborn County. The Project commenced commercial operation in February 2011. On August 24, 2016, the Commission issued an order requiring noise monitoring and a noise study at the Project site. During the period of September 2016 through February 2018, . . . Complete story »

June 1, 2018 • MinnesotaPrint storyE-mail story

Proposed wind farm discussed in public forum

Approximately 50 supporters and detractors of the proposed Freeborn Wind Farm in southeastern Freeborn County shared their opinions of the project Thursday in a Minnesota Public Utilities Commission public forum at Riverland Community College. The public forum was in regards to a planned 200 megawatt wind farm in southeast Freeborn County and north Iowa, specifically the wind farm’s transmission line and associated facilities in Freeborn County. The forum lasted about an hour and a half. Marjorie Hamersly, who lives in . . . Complete story »

May 31, 2018 • MinnesotaPrint storyE-mail story

Xcel wins approval for pilot program for rates varying by time of day

Xcel Energy has won approval for a pilot program featuring electricity rates that will vary by time of day, an attempt to shift energy use to off-peak hours when the grid is less stressed. The two-year “time-of-use” pilot program is scheduled to be rolled out in early 2020 to about 10,000 Xcel customers in two Twin Cities locations. Xcel last fall proposed the program, and it was approved Thursday by all five members of the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC). . . . Complete story »

May 24, 2018 • Minnesota, OpinionsPrint storyE-mail story

Viewpoint: Respectful siting process for wind turbines long overdue

It’s taken a decade, but the Minnesota policy battleship is turning regarding siting of wind projects. State agencies, in their rush to site wind, have dropped the ball – they have failed in their charge to regulate and protect the public and the public interest. We need a respectful siting process, and that is 20 years overdue. If Minnesota doesn’t correct our wind siting process, the legitimate pushback will make siting a wind project difficult at best. Recently an administrative law . . . Complete story »

May 18, 2018 • MinnesotaPrint storyE-mail story

Administrative law judge says PUC should reject Freeborn County wind project

In a rare move, a state judge has recommended that a proposed southern Minnesota wind farm – Freeborn Wind – be denied an operating permit, saying the project has failed to show it can meet state noise standards. Meanwhile, the owner of Bent Tree Wind Farm, which is also in Freeborn County, recently agreed to buy the homes of two families who have long complained about excessive noise. The proposed Freeborn Wind project southeast of Albert Lea would exceed maximum levels of . . . Complete story »

May 17, 2018 • MinnesotaPrint storyE-mail story

PUC approves Chippewa County wind farm

GRANITE FALLS – The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission has approved a permit for the construction of an 18-turbine, 44.6-megawatt wind farm in Chippewa County. The PUC approved the permit for Palmer’s Creek Wind Farm on a 5-0 vote at its meeting May 11, according to Dan Wolf, executive secretary to the commission. The permit includes requirements that project developer Fagen Engineering of Granite Falls update an avian and bat protection plan, as well as a shadow flicker report, noise analysis and . . . Complete story »

May 16, 2018 • Letters, MinnesotaPrint storyE-mail story

Life by a wind turbine, or two

When I was in Iraq in 2006, my wife at the time emailed me and said Byron Christoffer wanted to put up some wind turbines across the road from us on his property. I said that is fine, I like electricity. In my mind I envisioned wind turbines in the middle of the section like another wind turbine project Steve Christoffer had built near me north of the interstate. When I got home in 2007, we drove down the gravel . . . Complete story »

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