For the first time, the Minnesota Public Utilities has denied a draft site permit for a wind energy project.
The PUC voted unanimously to block the city of New Ulm's planned wind farm in Nicollet County.
The city had planned to put up five wind turbines to help meet the city's electricity needs. Farmers opposed the project, saying the land should be used for agriculture, not wind turbines.
PUC staffer Tricia DeBleeckere says the no vote was a first for a wind project in Minnesota.
"This one is the first one that we've denied a draft permit too at this point in the process," DeBleeckere said.
DeBleeckere says New Ulm could ask the PUC to reconsider the wind farm permit. If that fails, the city's only other alternative is to take it's case to the state court of appeals.
Farmers like Jeff Franta had opposed the project. Franta said wind turbines are not the best use of the land.
"We feel we are using our natural resource efficiently, and that's producing food for the world," Franta said. "And that wind energy would only impede on that in our area."