Articles from Minnesota
AUSTIN, Minn. - The federal government has given the green light to a major wind energy project near Austin that had been held up over concerns that it might interfere with military radar systems. Construction crews began building the first of 43 wind generators near Austin this month after FPL Energy received a "determination of no hazard" letter last month from the Federal Aviation Administration.
The trend is upward elsewhere, too. Utilities in 36 states offer some form of green pricing, and last year 430,000 households bought green power - up 20 percent from a year earlier, the U.S. Energy Department reported.
A mix of federal and tax incentives, not to mention high fuel prices, are drawing local investors into the wind market. The federal government, for instance, offers a 1.9 cents-per-killowatt hour tax credit; in Minnesota, the state offers another1.5 cent credit. Small investors in Minnesota can negotiate with utility companies for further production credits. According to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, one or two turbines can generate profits of $100,000 per year, once the capital expenditures are paid off.
WASHINGTON — Lawmakers from Minnesota and Wisconsin are urging the federal government to quickly resolve delays on wind energy projects caused by a Department of Defense study of whether wind turbines interfere with military radar.
ST. PAUL, Minn. - An upgrade of the state's power grid would include a $600 million high-voltage transmission line from the South Dakota border to the Minneapolis-St. Paul area - and that's just part of the plan proposed by a coalition of utility companies. The plan also calls for a second high-voltage line from Fargo, N.D., to the St. Cloud area, a third line from the Minneapolis-area to Rochester and then to La Crosse, Wis., and a smaller fourth line in the Bemidji area.
Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty has signed into law H.F. 3718, the nation’s first law promoting plug-in hybrid, flexible-fueled vehicles. The legislation – inspired by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance's report A Better Way that proposed an electricity-alcohol transportation energy strategy, and several articles by ILSR staff published in the Star Tribune in late 2005 – sailed through both houses by a unanimous vote.
The typical Xcel Energy customer paid an extra 20 cents a month to the utility company for wind power the company paid for but couldn't transmit from wind farms from February 2004 to May 2005, the state Commerce Department said.
Voegeli eventually drifted back to an acronym-littered update. “We need a CUP for the PUC,” he said, meaning that the turbine needs a conditional use permit before the Public Utilities Commission, which oversees Xcel Energy, will vote on approving any agreement.
The ordinance will last for one year, giving county staff and planning commission members opportunity for revisions before a permanent adoption.
Senators had a landmark vote on renewable energy in the Minnesota Senate on Thursday.
Minnesota, already one of the top producers of wind energy in the nation, is expected to add at least 128.2 megawatts of new wind power in 2006, according to an industry survey.
Winona County’s proposed wind turbine project moved toward the end of its study phase this week when the county board of commissioners approved an additional $44,000 in seed money.
Winona County’s economic development authority revealed several more details and funding proposals for a proposed 2-megawatt turbine during a work session Tuesday, as preparations move toward a vote on final approval later this year. The county board will be asked next Tuesday to approve $48,000 to complete studies for the turbine.
Proponents of Winona County’s 2-megawatt wind turbine project have a revised funding plan that will include private investors after struggling in recent months to raise public money.
SLAYTON, Minn. -- When wind turbines were first built on the Buffalo Ridge in the mid-1990s, area farmers and landowners took ownership.
Average wind speeds in northwestern Minnesota are highest during October whereas in the south of the state they are strongest in March and April. The least windy month for the entire state appears to be August.
On the third day of the new year, the Winona County Economic Development Authority Rural Development subcommittee took another slow but sure step toward the construction of a $3 million wind turbine.
BISMARCK, N.D. -- Two utilities and a pipeline company have dropped plans to build a wind farm in southeastern North Dakota, in part because of rising wind turbine prices, officials said.
A new wind energy project was introduced to officials and Mower County residents Tuesday night at the Mower County Planning Commission meeting
Within the next week, the Winona County Economic Development Authority (EDA) could be the proud recipient of two meteorological towers on loan from the Minnesota Department of Commerce, according to EDA member Anne Morse. A meteorological tower, or “met tower,” is typically a structure between forty and fifty meters tall that provides a setting for an anemometer, a device that gauges wind.