Library from Minnesota
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.
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.
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.
Spokesperson Justin Foss said someone reported ice from a turbine on the Bent Tree Wind Farm hitting a semi-truck on Highway 13. The farm is located in Hartland.
Supporters and detractors of the proposed Freeborn Wind Farm discussed their views Tuesday during a public forum at Albert Lea Armory.
"Unwanted noise on our property, shadow flicker on our property the chance that marketability of our homes, if we decide we want to move is reduced. The potential of association from the turbines to have some ill health effects,” said Doreen Hansen of the Association Of Freeborn County landowners. “So we would like to see respectful sighting. Landowners that choose to have a turbine on their land, that's fine, but none of the ill effects should go on the land of a non-participant."
The Willmar Municipal Utilities Commission last week received an update from staff about problems with Wind Turbine 4. It is inoperable due to a broken hydraulic pitch control board failure, which moves the turbine's blades.
A citizen’s group based in Glenville, Minn., has been taking a keen interest in the issues raised over wind farms in Chatham-Kent.
Big Blue will now have to file a noise modeling of the installed wind turbines that indicates projected compliance with MPCA noise standards within 30 days of order, including monitoring during periods of curtailment; an on/off monitoring protocol within 60 days of order; and a completed on/off noise monitoring study within nine months of the order.
Last year wasn't the best year for the Willmar wind turbines. Major malfunctions caused the turbines to be out of commission for long periods of time during the second half of 2017, reducing the amount of power they were able to produce.
In 2016, the company generated about $1.47 million in revenue, according to court filings. However, from the start of 2017 through Dec. 29, its sales had fallen to about $4,500.
Lawyers and accountants in the renewable energy industry are poring over the details of the tax overhaul President Trump signed into law last week, trying to figure out what companies will lose or gain.
On Tuesday, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission denied an amendment request that would require EDF to prioritize the hire of local workers. The commission did, however, require that EDF file a report to the commission detailing its efforts to hire Minnesota workers.
Wind farms commonly generate some local antipathy as they grow both in number and economic importance to the energy industry, but the Freeborn project has sparked a higher level of opposition. It has been intense enough to prompt Freeborn Wind’s developer, Invenergy, to move more than half the project — 58 turbines — across the border to Iowa.
Conflicting points of view regarding the placement of new wind turbines were exchanged during the last County Board meeting on Nov. 7. On one hand, Faribault County residents such as Johanna Hocker are staunchly opposed to the Oza Tanka Wind Project. Hocker voiced her concerns during the public comment portion of the meeting.
Saliterman said that while the concerns of landowners in Faribault County are common when it comes to wind turbine installations, the amount of opposition for a project of this size is unusual. ...Saliterman believes the large pushback from landowners is due to misinformation being circulated via social media.
The Minnesota Legislative Energy Commission in the Senate held a hearing on Wind Turbine Noise and Health Effects on Thursday, October 19, 2017. The hearing agenda, full audio and speaker submissions can be accessed here.