Letter: A 10-rotor diameter setback remainsI’m writing this because I am caught up in a very controversial wind energy development in the 2nd District.
By: Richard Samuelson, Cannon Falls, The Republican Eagle
To the Editor:
I’m writing this because I am caught up in a very controversial wind energy development in the 2nd District. We have landowners who have signed a contract with AWA Wind, who favor the development. There are also those who are opposed to it. Both groups want my support.
The motion for the ordinance that I made for a 10-rotor diameter setback from non-participants and a 750-foot setback from participants passed 3-2. This has not changed.
Next, this went to Minnesota Public Utilities Commission. Rather than acting on the county ordinance, their direction was to send it to an admin-istrative law judge.
This process may take up to six months. This will be an expense for Goodhue County. With the law judge’s findings of all of the facts, it will be passed back to the MPUC for their consideration for the future of wind development.
In order to avoid all of this, the wind company volunteered to scale down the project from 52 turbines to 34 turbines. To accomplish this proposal, they would have needed a reduced setback from the 10-rotor diameter rule, but would honor a more restrictive 40 decibel sound level.
The state standard is 50 decibels.
I sent my comment to the MPUC thinking that this could be a solution to the controversy that has been going on for two years. I did use the wrong choice of words at the County board meeting Nov. 16, that Ms. Stussy referred to (R-E.
I should have said that I had sent a comment to MPUC instead of saying I would send a comment. I had no intention to deceive anyone.
To answer Ms. Stussy’s question — “What made him change his tune?” —nothing has changed. We still have the 10-rotor diameter ordinance in place. I only suggested that 40 decibels be considered by the MPUC for a compromise in a scaled down project.
The administrative law judge will now look at all of the facts and report the findings to the MPUC. Perhaps then we will have an understanding for the future of wind development in Goodhue County.
Richard Samuelson represents Goodhue County District 2.