Library from Minnesota
Phase I of the Bent Tree Wind Project began operation in January 2012. The project consists of 122 Vestas V82/1650 (1.65 MW, diameter 82 m) turbines for a total installed capacity of 201.3 megawatts. Noise complaints were filed by at least two landowners since September 2015. Staff for the Energy Environmental Review and Analysis (EERA) unit of the MN Department of Commerce examined the complaints and believe the complaints are both Unresolved and Substantial. In this letter with supporting documentation, EERA staff recommended the MN Public Utilities Commission initiate the process for addressing the complaint. The letter to the PUC is provided below. The full letter with documentation can be accessed by clicking the links on this page.
Mrs. Rosenquist continues to fight against wind farms, successfully convincing lawmakers to craft legislation to change Minnesota turbine siting standards in 2011 and continuing to push the issue at the local and state levels.
Developers of a Minnesota community solar garden have agreed to test for stray voltage on neighboring properties, a nod to opponents that could have implications for other projects. The Winona County Board of Commissioners recently approved two 5 megawatt (MW) community solar projects with the caveat. Jeffrey Broberg, a consultant to the project developer SolarStone Partners, said the agreement is “unprecedented”.
The tower would be in service for about three years, and be equipped with temperature and wind sensors to collect wind resource data for future similar projects in the area. It must meet requirements of the Martin County Renewable Energy Ordinance.
While some say a possible solar-wind hybrid project near Frazee would benefit the city and its residents, others say it would annoy homeowners and kill off wildlife in the area.
For nearly 40 years, when Kathy Blanchard looked out her kitchen window of her home she would see a beautiful view. But now, she shares land with what she sees as a new and noisy neighbor: Pleasant Valley Wind Farm project.
A couple in southeastern Minnesota say wind turbines next to their 10-acre property are disrupting their lives as well as their scene view. In addition to the noise of the turbines, Kathy and Dan Blanchard believe the windmills are disrupting their television signals.
Nygard was sentenced to six months for not complying with a previous court order to remove the base. Over the weekend, his family finished the court-ordered job, hoping to spring their patriarch. Even though they took it down, the family insists there was nothing wrong with putting the towering, 750-pound turbine, which was fixed atop a galvanized pole, so close to the neighbors' home. “That was the best place to harvest the wind on our property. We don't have a very big property. I don't know where else we could have put it.”
Citing significant costs but limited benefit, Pipestone, Minn.-based Juhl Energy filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to de-register its common stock and suspend its reporting obligations. The company says it will still trade publicly but via OTC Pink - an exchange that does not have any reporting requirements. In Wall Street parlance, so-called "pink sheets" get their name from an earlier paper-based system that printed on pink paper.
Both Sibley Wind Substation, planned for southwest of Winthrop, and Comfrey Wind Energy, planned for west of Comfrey, saw their licenses from the Public Utilities Commission revoked. ...Comfrey Wind had been granted two extensions and sought to be covered by the federal Production Tax Credit, so began some construction before the end of 2014. But the state Department of Commerce said construction came before some compliance filings with the commission.
Now, the worry by Miller and other renewable energy advocates is that anyone considering solar or wind power won’t invest until it’s clear what, if any, extra fees they’ll have to pay their utility. ...The fears of fees as high as $85 stem from an Iowa cooperative utility’s proposal to significantly increase charges to customers who install new solar or wind generators.
Sibley Wind Substation, which had begun utility work for its 10-turbine wind power project, is now asking to withdraw its permits from county and state governments. The memo submitted to the MN PUC can be accessed by clicking the link on this page.
When proposed, the project was heralded by renewable energy proponents and those who saw it as a source of jobs and income for Stearns County's rural economy. But some residents strongly opposed it, concerned about the visual effect of as many as 60 turbines.
“To be truthful, we just started too late. When wind (energy) was first coming out, it was easy. Now they just pile more and more studies on, and bats and bird studies, just piled on, more red tape. Typical government, more forms,” said Scott Hoek, one of 11 co-owners of the wind project.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is developing an environmental impact statement to evaluate the potential of issuing incidental take permits for protected bird and bat species if regional wind industry development grows. According to a news release by the service, the states within the plan are Missouri, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin. It is called the Midwest Wind Energy Multi-Species Habitat Conservation Plan.
"Under the current system, people who have distributed generation, solar panels on the roof or their own personal windmills, they're able to use the grid without charge and this means higher rates for other consumers," he said. "We fixed that so it will no longer be a problem moving forward."
Four currently proposed wind energy projects, including Paynesville, have been notified their permits could be revoked due to lack of progress. For the first time in years, the PUC has no pending wind projects under consideration. ...The slowdown in wind energy development follows what one industry analyst calls a “wind bubble” generated by federal stimulus funding and the production tax credit.
The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (Commission) issued EcoHarmony West Wind LLC Site Permit on February 3, 2010 to construct a 58-turbine, 116-megawatts project. On April 22, 2013, the Site Permit was amended to allow an additional two years to commence construction and obtain a power purchase agreement (or other enforceable mechanism). Failing to do so, Gamesa filed notice that it would not be pursuing the project. The content of Gamesa's notice is provided below. Both Gamesa's letter and the May 8, 2015 letter by the Commission inquiring about the project's status can be accessed by clicking the links on this page.
Geronimo Wind Energy's proposed Paynesville Wind farm was issued a site permit and a Certificate of Need (CN) from the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission on January 26, 2011. The project would consist of 63 wind turbines totaling 95 megawatts to be located on approximately 15,000 acres in Stearns County, Minnesota. Paynesville Wind has been unable to secure a buyer for its energy. This letter was issued by the company this month. The content of the letter is provided below. The original can be accessed by clicking the links on this page.
The power lines servicing a rural Pine River farm must be replaced by Brainerd electrical cooperative Crow Wing Power, a Cass County judge ordered earlier this month. Judge Jana M. Austad's order is the latest action in ongoing litigation between dairy farmers Randy and Peggy Norman and the power company, which last October was ordered to pay $6.3 million for negligence in its response to the farmers' concerns about stray voltage impacts on their property.