Articles filed under General from Minnesota
The bond was sold to Bank of America in June 2008 to finance a planned wind turbine project. Complications with gaining right to build the turbine resulted in the project being halted. Since no other clean energy project was available at this time, City Council moved to buy back the bond.
A proposed wind-energy farm north of Paynesville cleared a major hurdle today when the state Public Utilities Commission approved a certificate of need and a site permit for the project.
Municipal utilities in the southern Minnesota cities of Owatonna and New Ulm are facing problems with downtown power plants and choosing different solutions. ...Concerns about wind turbine setbacks, noise, bird kills and a dispute over eminent domain resulted in the Nicollet County board rejecting New Ulm's wind proposal.
The controversy over wind power in Goodhue County was supposed to reach a conclusion last month. Instead, officials continue struggling with details.
Lack of long-term U.S. energy policies, such as a renewable electricity standard, is blamed as one of the factors causing uncertainty in the industry and holding companies back from moving forward with projects. In Brandon, another wind turbine manufacturer, Tower Tech Systems, also is stalled.
Suzlon Group's Pipestone factory, which once employed 500 people, will lay off most of its remaining workers as U.S. demand for wind power sits becalmed for now. ...The U.S. wind-power industry expects to install about half as much generating capacity as it did last year, a trade group reported Friday.
Great River Energy officials say 61 turbines at the Prairie Star Wind Farm near Austin stopped operating for a time because of the powerful gusts.
Guerrero pressed the commission to expedite the administrative law judge's review, but commissioner J. Dennis O'Brien refused and added to his motion that the review proceed at a "thorough and deliberate speed." That didn't sit well with representatives of the wind company.
The review is expected to take about six months. A last-ditch effort by AWA Goodhue representatives to expedite that process was denied.
After the Mankato State University graduate became Goodhue's police chief in 2007, he and his wife, Jenny, got a firsthand look at the splintering of neighborly relations based on the possibility of wind energy. "Is money really that important? It makes me sick to my stomach."
Voting 5-0 against the project, board members expressed concerns about taking up too much staff time and cut off Hennepin County's intention to apply for a construction permit by Nov. 18.
Belle Creek Township board's attorney sent a "cease and desist" letter to AWA Goodhue LLC, the developer of a 32,500-acre wind-turbine project in Goodhue County. The letter states that the developers have been doing construction work within the borders of the township in violation of an interim ordinance that the board approved earlier this summer.
After more than a month of reviewing his notes, Administrative Law Judge Eric Lipman filed his report with the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission Tuesday. That was the last hurdle to clear before the proposal will have its final hearing before the PUC, which is expected to come in late October.
Councilmember Don Jacobson said the ordinance approved last spring did not allow any of these systems in areas of the community zoned R-4, which is s higher density residential area. The updated ordinance allows WECS in the R-4 districts, but in very limited circumstances.
The permitting process to install 20 wind turbines in Meeker and Kandiyohi counties is under way, with a community meeting set for 6:30 p.m. Monday at the Atwater Community Center.
During the question and comment period, David Granneman, who lives on an acreage south of Jasper, said the setback between wind turbines and buildings should be greater. He suggested the setback requirement for hog barns, which in Rock County is one-half mile and Pipestone County a quarter-mile. "The wind turbines may be 750 feet away but it still feels like they are right on top of you," Granneman said.
UMore Park, the University of Minnesota's sprawling research area in eastern Rosemount, doesn't typically get much wind. That makes it the perfect place for the university's new wind-turbine project. That's because the goal of a turbine to be built there this year is not to feed the electrical grid, but to conduct research on ways to generate wind energy even when gales aren't prevalent.
Local residents packed Goodhue's gym Wednesday night for six hours as questions and concerns were addressed to the judge and a panel representing the applicant, National Wind. The overflow of issues caused the comment period to be extended into Thursday.
Administrative Law Judge Eric Lipman heard testimony from 45 people in two sessions during Wednesday's process, though he often had to plead with people to stay under the five-minute limit. The overwhelming majority of questions and comments came from those who oppose the project.
As wind energy discussions within Goodhue County near a resolution this fall, Monday's six-hour meeting of the Planning Advisory Commission revealed tensions have already reached the boiling point. Prior to the start of the regularly scheduled meeting, the PAC spent nearly two hours discussing the county's draft ordinance created by a three-person subcommittee during the past two months.