Daniel P. Wolf
Minnesota Public Utilities Commission
127 7th Place East, Suite 350
St. Paul, MN 55101-2147
RE: Permit Compliance Review for PUC Docket No. ET6657/WS-08-573 Noise Complaints from Gwyn Regehr and Bernie & Cheryl Hagen
Bent Tree Wind Project Phase I, Freeborn County
Dear Mr. Wolf:
Attached is a Permit Compliance Review performed by Minnesota Department of Commerce, Energy Environmental Review and Analysis (EERA), staff for the March 14, 2016, compliance filing for the above-referenced project.
In summary, Wisconsin Power and Light Company (WPL) received a site permit from the Commission on October 20, 2009, to construct and operate the 201.3 MW Bent Tree Wind Project Phase I, Large Wind Energy Conversion System (LWECS) in Freeborn County. The Bent Tree Wind Project Phase I was constructed and began operations in January 2011.
This project has received multiple complaints regarding project noise and human health effects from two landowners since September 2015. The original complaints were reported to WPL staff and also addressed directly to the Commission via the project’s e-docket. Subsequent complaints were sent directly to EERA staff in March 2016, and these complaints were forwarded to WPL. We have instructed WPL to include these complaints in their monthly complaint summary compliance filing for April 2016.
Based on the complaints and subsequent communication with the complainants and the permittee, EERA staff believes that these complaints are both Unresolved and Substantial. Accordingly, EERA staff recommends that Commission staff initiate Section H of the Complaint Handling Procedures for LWECS found in Attachment 2 of the project’s site permit.
EERA staff is available to answer any questions or provide technical assistance to the Commission regarding this matter.
cc: Bret Eknes, Commission Staff
Tricia DeBleeckere, Commission Staff
John Wachtler, EERA Director