The Minnesota Court of Appeals has sided with the wind developer in overriding local setback regulations for the proposed Goodhue industrial wind development. With the impact on people being set aside, the proposal still faces hurdles in gaining permission to harm wildlife.
aeinews.org: Court approves smaller Goodhue wind setbacks; hurdles remain:
Strangely, the Court said that it had seen the 10 rotor diameter rule as a “zero-exposure standard;” in fact, a half mile would not avoid audibility or ocassionaly intrusive noise , especially at night, though it would reduce the number of homes experiencing relatively louder sound exposures. There are roughly 200 homes within the 1600 to 2700 foot zone. Many of the more substantial negative impacts reported by wind farm neighbors occur in this range.The full report at the Acoustic Ecology Institute site includes links to local, Minnesota, coverage.
While National Wind, developer of the 78-megawatt project, aims to begin construction within weeks, in hopes of being operational by the end of the year in order to qualify for expiring production tax credits, hurdles remain. The PUC rejected the company’s eagle monitoring and protections plan in February, and the developers have been planning to obtain an optional take permit from the US Fish and Wildlife Service to protect themselves in the event of that a bald eagle may be killed.