Paynesville wind farm gets state approvals

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.

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Comments (3)

  1. Submitted by Bernice Vetsch on 11/26/2010 - 02:31 pm.

    Why are wind farms so huge?

    Wasn’t there talk a few years ago about locating smaller numbers of wind towers to serve smaller areas? For instance, enough to provide energy to a small town just outside that town. Or two or so on a farm to power just that farm.

  2. Submitted by rolf westgard on 11/28/2010 - 05:05 am.

    The noise from those wind turbines will send residents climbing the walls that those low frequency sounds penetrate. You need at least a 5000 foot setback, not 750 feet. This is another taxpayer funded boondoggle.

  3. Submitted by Nancy Reeck on 11/28/2010 - 02:56 pm.

    The MN legislature and its rubber-stamping Public Utilities Commission have rolled over for the money, pure and simple. This project has nothing to do with energy conservation, taxpayer representation or jobs. It has everything to do with giant multinational corporations usurping the democratic process through lobbying efforts and direct sales marketing techniques designed to dupe farmers out off their property.

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