A proposed wind farm near Paynesville in central Minnesota has received some approvals from the state.
Although some area residents are worried about noise, shadow flicker and impact on property values and wildlife from the 60 giant turbines, the state Public Utilities Commission has approved a certificate of need and a site permit for the project, says the St. Cloud Times.
The 95-megawatt wind farm would cover about 15,000 acres in Zion, Paynesville, Spring Hill and Lake Henry townships, the paper said.
The wind company now can finish final engineering and negotiation on a purchase agreement for electricity produced by the wind turbines, with construction expected to begin next year.
Stearns County has even stricter wind turbine set-back rules than the state: The turbines, which can be 400 feet high, must be set back 750 feet in the county, while the state requires a 500-foot setback, with additional distance needed if there are noise levels are above legal limits.