Articles from Minnesota

Legislator wants to revoke permit on unpopular wind project

“This has been going on, just hanging there, sitting there,” said Barb Wenninger, a Cornish Township resident and longtime opponent of the Sibley Wind Substation turbines. “We seem to have shown violations of their permit, and no action has been taken. That’s what it seems to us, like nothing is being resolved.”
17 Oct 2014

Leaders, VA wind turbine needs attention

Building — and trying to fix — the turbine already has cost taxpayers about $2.3 million, 99 percent of which the VA has paid to the private contractors responsible. And please note that does not include more than $325,000 the VA has not accrued in energy savings since the turbine went online in April 2011. In other words, this project alone has cost taxpayers more than $2.6 million. It still does not work, nor have any funds expended been recovered.
7 Sep 2014

Wind turbine case picks up in district court

The city, in its brief filed with the court, argued that nothing in the state law precludes a local municipality from “establishing requirements for the siting and construction of SWECS.” They have also argued that the turbines were put up without proper permits and are a safety threat.
5 Aug 2014

Minnesota could face bigger carbon-reduction hurdle

Minnesota Power, the state’s third-largest power company, is concerned that more than $800 million in wind power investments appear to be credited to North Dakota, where the wind farms were built, rather than to Minnesota, where the power is delivered. “We just don’t like the fact that Minnesota seems to have gotten very little credit
21 Jun 2014

Tripp wind farm project faces delay

Construction of a wind farm near Tripp is being delayed at least six to eight weeks because of investors' uncertainty in the wind industry's production tax credit. ...Paul Bachman, executive director of the South Dakota Wind Energy Association, said a bill to renew the tax credit is in the Senate, but isn't expected to be acted on until after the November elections.
6 Jun 2014

You don't own the wind

The plaintiffs claim this ordinance is pre-empted by Minnesota Statute § 216F.02(b), "which prohibits local governments from enacting complete bans on businesses and homeowners using SWECS [small wind energy conversion systems] to generate electricity."
9 May 2014

Opponents hope to stop MN wind farm on wings of eagles

“The fact is that thousands of birds use the specific area where turbines are proposed as a migratory stopover before they move into either the Mississippi River flyway or the Atlantic flyway,” said Barb Wenninger, a Cornish Township resident and longtime opponent of the project. “…I  think it is important to have accurate information on avian use before we are faced with the law of unintended consequences.
2 May 2014

Fairmont area residents voice opinions over proposed high voltage transmission lines

Ray Kirsch, the Environmental Review Manager of the Minnesota Department of Commerce, says, "It's because there's a lot of power in this area, including wind power and to utilize that power it has to be able to be moved." And conditional power generation that is dependent upon environmental conditions, such as power created from wind turbines, creates areas of congestion on the current electrical grid.
25 Apr 2014

Border battle: ND refuses to pay millions in MN renewable energy bills

North Dakota officials grudgingly looked the other way as Minnesota regulators continued to approve more of what they viewed as inefficient renewable energy projects. Those projects increased the utility bills of Xcel’s 80,000 customers — from Fargo to Minot — by an estimated $5.7 million a year. The systemwide cost for ratepayers is about $92 million.
16 Apr 2014

Where is the answer for VA turbine's financial drain?

What was supposed to provide up to 15 percent of the power to the St. Cloud VA Health Care System has turned into a black eye in the sky. ...Nearly $2.3 million went blowing in the wind, and there seems to be no end in sight to needed repairs. It’s also unclear whether the VA will be compensated for lost savings or if the turbine will ever work properly.
8 Mar 2014

St. Cloud VA's wind turbine has yet to live up to expectations

Almost three years after it was built, a wind turbine at the St. Cloud VA Health Care System has become a towering boondoggle. The VA system paid about 99 percent of the $2.3 million cost for the turbine. All that has bought is a turbine that supplied a tiny fraction of the power it was expected to generate. Since August 2012, the turbine has supplied no power at all. ...“You fix one thing and something else pops up. It’s extraordinarily unreliable.”
2 Mar 2014

State approves taller turbines in Pleasant Valley wind project

The PUC approved the initial site permit for a 301 megawatt project in 2010, but the amended request reduces the nameplate capacity to 200 megawatts. Additionally, the PUC's recent decision allows Pleasant Valley to switch from a combination of 1.5 MW and 2.3 MW General Electric turbines to a uniform layout of 2.0 MW Vestas, which are 328 feet tall with a rotor diameter of 328 feet. The GE turbines had the same rotor diameter, but the towers stood 262 feet tall.
15 Feb 2014

Plug pulled on EcoHarmony wind project in Fillmore County

The EcoHarmony wind project received its permits in February 2010 ...the 280-megawatt project would have been the largest wind development in state history. However, the project layout was overhauled in early 2013, shrinking to 116 megawatts. The company's plans changed again this fall when Gamesa notified local project participants that the project was dead.
26 Dec 2013
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