Plan for wind farm shelved to protect migrating birds

The Public Utilities Commission dealt a setback to a planned wind farm near Red Wing. Commissioners decided the plan does not do enough to protect eagles and other birds that could be killed by its 50 turbines. The decision will at least delay the project and could kill it.
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The Public Utilities Commission dealt a setback to a planned wind farm near Red Wing. Commissioners decided the plan does not do enough to protect eagles and other birds that could be killed by its 50 turbines. The decision will at least delay the project and could kill it.

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Goodhue Wind plans to apply for a permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that would allow its turbines to kill eagles without facing penalties. The proposed 48-turbine site is set to be located north of Zumbrota in southeast Minnesota. MPR reports the hearing with the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission has not been rescheduled.

Court overrules Goodhue County plan to block wind farm

The Minnesota Court of Appeals has overturned a Goodhue County ordinance that would have prevented construction of a 50-turbine wind farm. But the project remains on hold until the developer comes up with a plan to protect eagles and other birds.

Wind farm seeking permission to kill eagles near Red Wing

Developers of a controversial wind farm in Goodhue County plan to apply for new federal permits to legally kill eagles. The Star Tribune reports the permits are part of a federal compromise between the demand for clean energy and the concern that wind farms could kill thousands of birds each year. The proposed 50-turbine site near Red Wing is home to a number of eagles and endangered golden eagles.

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The Fish and Wildlife Service is advising AWA Goodhue Wind to apply for a permit that would reduce its liability if any eagles are killed by the spinning turbines of its planned wind farm. Without a permit, a second offense could cost the company half-a-million dollars.

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The necessary permits are in place to build a 95-megawatt wind farm north of Paynesville, but Edina-based Geronimo Wind Energy is still looking for a utility company to buy its energy. A St. Cloud Times report says this has delayed construction by a year on central Minnesota's first large-scale wind farm, that includes as many as 60 turbines.

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