Articles filed under General from Minnesota

Goodhue wind project faces blowback

The delay is just the latest in a string of setbacks for the project, which ran into resistance as soon as it was introduced four years ago. Turbines were originally expected to be spinning by the end of 2011. Representatives for the developer acknowledged the project was taking longer than anticipated and that they remained uncertain how soon construction could begin if regulatory hurdles were overcome.
28 Feb 2013

Is New Era wind project 'dead'?

The staff members recommended reopening the power purchase agreement docket New Era signed with Xcel Energy, ruling that the project is not a community-based energy development (C-BED) and asking the developer to "show cause" why the project's certificate of need should not be revoked.
27 Feb 2013

Court asked to halt Excelsior firm's turbine sales

The lawsuit alleges that Renewable Energy SD (RESD) sold farmers in Minnesota and elsewhere faulty windmills using federal stimulus money ...The company either failed to deliver many of the windmills or, in some cases, erected turbines that failed to perform properly or at all, the suit says.
14 Feb 2013

Eco Harmony wind project gets a second look

The Eco Harmony West Wind project proposed in Fillmore County is awaiting a ruling this spring after petitioning the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission for recertification of its Certificate of Need, an amended site permit and two additional years to obtain a power purchase agreement.
14 Feb 2013

Wind energy proves unreliable

In July and August wind generation is minimal because hot air is not dense, and it takes even more wind to turn the blades when it is hot. Those in the industry call this the summer doldrums. A coal or nuclear power plant cannot scale down their production on a windy day. They are fined if they don’t produce enough power to meet the demand. Therefore, most (if not all) wind power is wasted.
19 Jan 2013

Minnesota PUC makes queries on New Era wind project

The PUC opened a public comment period Wednesday for a series of four questions dealing with the 78 megawatt project, which previously was called AWA Goodhue. The queries raise issues that date back to 2008 as the 32,000-acre project continues to face an unprecedented permitting process that has drawn national attention.
12 Jan 2013

Despite credit extension, questions remain in wind projects

The report highlights an ongoing debate throughout the region for setback distances. Minnesota has a minimum setback of 500 feet of turbines from occupied dwellings. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency also states that turbines must create less than 50 decibels of noise to minimize impacts, which typically forces larger setbacks. However, the MPCA does not measure wind turbines for LFN impacts.
5 Jan 2013

New Era Wind not local, not C-BED say Goodhue County Commissioners

The Goodhue County Commissioners sent a letter to the Minnesota PUC stating that the principal elements of the original resolution no longer reflect the present ownership and operation of the Goodhue Wind project. ..."Logically, any such grandfathered status cannot survive a total change of ownership when the C-BED status rests solely on a determination of where a project's proceeds will be distributed," a letter from the commissioners states.
4 Jan 2013

New Era still working on wind farm details

Peter Mastic, the owner of New Era Wind Farm LLC, replied to 11 questions from the Public Utilities Commission about what effect his buying the company would have, including if it will qualify for Community-Based Energy Development status that gives more money for the power.
25 Dec 2012

Wind industries lay off hundreds of workers

Hundreds of workers in our region are losing their jobs as wind turbine manufacturers cut production. The federal tax credit that subsidizes wind energy is set to expire at the end of the year, and political uncertainty is putting the brakes on the wind industry. More than 500 workers are losing their jobs in the Red River Valley.
6 Nov 2012

New questions raised as Goodhue County wind project pursues permits

Mags Rheude, a wildlife biologist for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, answered one of the PUC's questions. She said that [Peter] Mastic plans to file a revised avian and bat protection plan (ABPP) with the PUC by Nov. 9. The PUC rejected the project's initial ABPP in Feb. due to insufficient data. It's the final state-mandated permitting hurdle remaining for the project, which has faced an unprecedented three-plus year permitting battle.
1 Nov 2012

More allegations fly over wind farm near Blue Earth

Contractor Fagen Inc. asked a federal judge for an expedited ruling on who owns the nearly completed Big Blue Wind Farm in southwestern Minnesota. Fagen, a construction company, alleged that the project's financially struggling original developer, Exergy Development Group of Idaho, has tried to extract a "dubious and unearned" $2.6 million fee from the contractor.
29 Oct 2012
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