Library from Minnesota

Troubled wind project target of FBI scrutiny, industry criticism

Local critics of the $180 million wind project, representing opposition groups Goodhue Wind Truth and the Coalition for Sensible Siting, say they spent a January morning in St. Paul detailing their concerns to two FBI investigators. Developers have spent more than $15 million seeking state permits, according to a filing at the PUC, while local opposition has spent six figures in the protracted legal battle.
31 Aug 2013

Divisive Goodhue County wind debate nears end

The controversy often pitted neighbor against neighbor, but the battle appears near an end. New Era recently missed two deadlines with the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, which is expected to hold permit revocation hearings in October or November. That could put an end to an unprecedented five-year battle that's included five lawsuits. "It's like tearing a scab off in our community."
31 Aug 2013

Minnesota PUC order on New Era (AWA Goodhue) Wind

Mnpuc-ordernewerawind_thumb The wind project formerly known as AWA Goodhue Wind received this final blow by the Minnesota PUC refusing any further extensions of the permit. The utility giant, XCEL has also canceled the power purchase agreement for the energy. Excerpts of the order are provided below. The full order can be accessed by clicking on the link at the bottom of this page.
26 Jul 2013

Repair work on VA hospital's turbine project hits a snag

The mounting frustration of St. Cloud VA officials was evident Wednesday at the turbine site. A crew with a massive crane couldn't work on the turbine due to high winds that day. And a hulking, blue replacement gearbox sat untouched after VA officials had just learned it had been damaged in shipment. It wasn't an unprecedented development. The original construction of the turbine also was delayed after its blades were damaged in shipment.
13 Jul 2013

Minnesota regulators have pulled the plug on a Goodhue County wind farm proposal

The developer, New Era Wind Farm, could try to revive the $180 million project, its attorney said. But Thursday, PUC commissioners voted unanimously not to extend the company's legal authority to build the 48 wind towers in the county. The clearly frustrated commissioners cited ongoing questions about the company's ownership, the status of its contract with Xcel, and its failure to come up with a plan to protect birds and bats from turbine blades.
20 Jun 2013

Xcel wants out of Goodhue wind deal

Jim Alders, Xcel's directory of regulatory affairs, said Wednesday that Xcel had been committed to the agreement but informed New Era in December that it needed to resolve outstanding issues with the project by early May. "We gave them [New Era] until now to cure those problems and they have not," he said. "We finally reached the point where the contract gives us the right to terminate."
29 May 2013

Strip mining Minnesota ratepayers

Energy_bill_cartoon-final_05_14_13_thumb The State of Minnesota is considering a bill that would increase the State's renewable mandate to 40% including a 10% solar carve-out. The bill is in conference but it appears rural legislators in both parties are reluctant to pass it through. Cartoonist Marie McNamara created this political cartoon to emphasize the mentality of lobbyists at the Capitol and the effect of the 40% mandate on Minnesota rate payers and businesses.
17 May 2013
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