As a layperson researching what Minnesota calls a: "Wind Energy Conversion System" (WECS) or also known as a Wind Turbine, there is one issue that always rears its ugly head, "Noise". I found that Minnesota is one of the many states to specify maximum exposure levels of noise to its citizens. The Minnesota Rules Chapter 7030 describes the limiting levels of sound established on the basis of present knowledge for the preservation of public health and welfare. Within this article I will attempt to provide a logical trace of the sound limiting requirements, along with some possible "delta" areas at the County Zoning Ordinance Levels with regards to a WECS application.
In Minnesota, the wind is blowing but turbines aren't turning. The machines, bought used from California and installed last fall, are completely frozen in place. Even on the windiest days, the blades sit at a standstill, producing no power. Why should anyone care? The problem highlights some of the less intuitive challenges associated with wind power - long considered to be the most feasible and cost effective source of renewable energy.
The Renewable Energy Objectives in Minnesota Statute 216B call for public utilities to get 25 percent of their energy from renewable technology by 2025. Eligible renewable technologies include wind, solar, biomass and hydroelectric. The impact of this impractical legislation can be seen by showing its effect on a utility like Minnesota Power, which serves northeastern Minnesota.
My husband and I were contacted by National Wind and the AWA Goodhue Wind project late, too. ...they wanted us to sign a wind lease contract for a minimal amount to compensate us for having the wind turbine close to our home. We decided there was not a good reason to sign away our land rights for 20, 30 or possibly 50 years for any amount of money, let alone a pittance. The two representatives from National Wind came to our house twice. We had many questions and never felt like we got answers to those questions.