Wind saga begins in 2007
What started with one interested company in 2007 has morphed into a fierce competition - one that has divided some communities in half -- for harvesting Goodhue County wind.
The battle continues after Kenyon Wind came onto the scene three years ago with its proposal for a nine-turbine, 18.9 megawatt wind farm in Kenyon and Cherry Grove townships.
That project, however, seems in limbo after the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission this month denied a request for two more years to secure a buyer for energy generated by the project. That means Kenyon wind officials will had until today to secure a buyer or scrap their plans all together.
Other wind energy companies have come on the scene since 2007, several of them seeking status as Community Based Energy Developments or C-BEDs that receive tax breaks and are required to have some local ownership.
The largest proposed project comes from Goodhue Wind LLC., a company managed by Minneapolis-based National Wind.
That 78-acre wind farm would change the scenery across several Goodhue County townships to the dismay of dozens of farmers and other community members who have spent the past several years attending hearings and speaking out against the project.
Other community members have attended those same meetings - often speaking up against longtime neighbors and friends - in favor of wind energy development in this area.
More on how the battle for wind energy has developed this year and what the future holds for Goodhue Wind's large project is available in the Dec. 29 print version of the R-E.