Library from Minnesota
On Wednesday, when the morning temperature in the Twin Cities was negative 24 degrees, wind energy provided just 4 percent of the electricity and utilized just 24 percent of its installed capacity in a region monitored by the Midcontinent Independent Systems Operator (MISO), a not-for-profit organization that ensures reliable, least-cost delivery of electricity across all or parts of 15 U.S. states, including Minnesota.
The Laborers’ union, representing several construction unions, asserted that the socio-economic benefits of Bitter Root would be “substantially diminished” by a lack of Minnesota workers. RES has used nonunion trades workers on other wind farms in Minnesota, and the Laborers’ union says those workers were mostly from out of state. The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) decided the unions’ claims need a closer look.
The Freeborn project marks the first "contested case" over a wind farm before the PUC, prompting the appointment of an administrative law judge to sort out the facts and make recommendations. The judge's ruling isn't binding on the PUC, but such recommendations often carry weight with the commission. ...Invenergy filed a proposal with the PUC that would include noise allowances of no more than 3 decibels above the standard.
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) said the state's limit for wind-farm noise applies not only to sounds from turbines but also should include background noise such as road traffic, said the filing with the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC).
The most powerful wind turbines ever seen in the state could soon be built in southwest Minnesota. The state needs to approve the proposed wind farm. The industry is ramping up turbine size in the name of efficiency, but the skyscraper-sized machines are also attracting more public opposition.
Shawn Dooling, 52, of Excelsior founded Renewable Energy SD, LLC in 2009. He marketed the company as one that sells, installs and maintains wind turbines to help local farmers save on their energy expenses, but he stole millions from customers in a scheme between 2010 and 2013.
The attempt by a London, England, company to build a wind farm in Yellow Medicine County is meeting resistance from a small community just across the South Dakota border ...The request is that RES and the MPUC respect and honor the ordinance that requires wind tower setbacks to be at least 3 miles away from the water.
Expiring tax credits and pushback from opposition groups pose barriers for the wind power in Minnesota, but the industry shows no signs of slowing down in the breezy southwestern part of the state.
WILMONT — Nobles 2 is sailing along smoothly.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Bill 3792 would require wind companies to implement radar-activated lighting systems that turn blinking lights atop wind turbines and tall towers on and off, depending on whether aircraft is in the vicinity. These Aircraft Detection Lighting Systems can reduce light pollution by remaining dark most of the time, lighting up only when necessary to serve as beacons.
Swedzinski’s H.F. 3792 is a bill that would require wind companies to implement radar-activated lighting systems that turn blinking lights atop wind turbines and tall towers on and off depending on whether aircraft is in the vicinity. These Aircraft Detection Lighting Systems can reduce light pollution by remaining dark most of the time, lighting up only when necessary to serve as beacons.
Freeborn Wind proposed to construct an up to 84 MW wind energy facility and associated facilities in Freeborn County, Minnesota. The Project is part of an up to 200 MW wind project in Freeborn County, Minnesota, and Worth County, Iowa. In this final order of recommendation, the Administrative Law Judge concluded that Freeborn Wind failed to demonstrate that the proposed Project will meet the requirements of Minn. R. 7030.0040, the applicable Minnesota Noise Standards. Portions of the order are provided below. The full order can be accessed by clicking the document links on this page.
The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) on Thursday ordered owner Wisconsin Power and Light to "show cause" why its permit for the Bent Tree wind farm northwest of Albert Lea, Minn., shouldn't be suspended or revoked.
WILMONT — More than 100 people filled the Wilmont Community Center Wednesday night for a presentation on the upcoming Nobles 2 Wind project.
Days after several Freeborn County wind turbines had to be shut down after a chunk of ice fell off a blade and landed on a passing semi truck, a family whose home lies within feet of the proposed Freeborn Wind Farm project said they're concerned about something similar happening at their home. ..."I'm sorry but [...] there's no amount of money that's enough comfort for my kids being put in harm's way," he said.