Minn. PUC to consider fate of proposed wind farm 28 Feb 13

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – The Public Utilities Commission holds a hearing Thursday on a wind farm proposed for southeastern Minnesota that’s drawn bitter opposition because of the danger it could pose to eagles, other birds and bats.

The New Era project seeks to build a 78-megawatt wind farm near Zumbrota in Goodhue County. The Post-Bulletin of Rochester reports that recommendations made by state agency staffers last week on some key issues have put the future of the project in doubt.

New Era, formerly known as AWA Goodhue, has been tangled in legal challenges as two groups – Goodhue Wind Truth and the Coalition for Sensible Siting – have fought the 48-turbine development. The permitting process has stretched out more than four years. A typical project is approved in six to 12 months.