Letter: Keep the wind ordinance intactIn response to Goodhue County Commissioner Richard Samuelson (R-E, Dec. 15): The MPUC, who issues permits for large wind developments, chose to send AWA Goodhue Wind’s permit request to an administrative law judge because Goodhue County’s wind ordinance is in some instances “more stringent” than state standards.
To the Editor:
In response to Goodhue County Commissioner Richard Samuelson (R-E, Dec. 15): The MPUC, who issues permits for large wind developments, chose to send AWA Goodhue Wind’s permit request to an administrative law judge because Goodhue County’s wind ordinance is in some instances “more stringent” than state standards.
As Goodhue County Attorney Stephen Betcher wrote earlier, “Goodhue County intends to present testimony and evidence concerning the process and procedures followed in developing the Goodhue Co. Wind Ordinance Amendments now in effect in Goodhue County. We will prepare and submit written testimony from county staff, elected officials, members of the Goodhue County PAC, citizens, experts and consultants involved in developing, preserving, and interpreting the record. ... The total record of all proceedings and all submissions will be developed and presented. We anticipate 2-3 days of written, direct and cross examination testimony based on content of our record and comments from counsel for AWA Goodhue.”
This process may take time.
Do I as a taxpayer and citizen of Goodhue County not have the right to have our new county wind ordinance fully defended and supported?
The County Board agreed to be a “party at the table” regarding its wind ordinance.
The 40 dB maximum noise level of the industrial wind turbines was discussed at County Board and PAC meetings. Measuring the noise levels of wind turbines is difficult and costly. Factors such as air density and temperature cause noise levels to fluctuate.
Ten-rotor diameter setbacks from non-participating landowners are easily measured and cost effective. Using the 40 dB noise level maximum just isn’t practical.
And, participating landowners can elect to have the industrial wind turbines closer if they so wish.
The AWA Goodhue Wind Project may be scaled down from 52 to 34 turbines. Since November 2008, this project continues to change: “small” turbines became “large”; two townships became five; 39 turbines became 52 turbines (and now 34 and perhaps larger and noisier than the original 1.5 MW models); and equity partner T. Boone Pickens is getting out of wind.
Let’s support the county’s wind ordinance as it stands.
Barbara A. Stussy