Measuring attitudes on wind energy

MPR photo Dan Gunderson

About 30 people will gather in Moorhead ,Minn., on Thursday to share their thoughts on wind energy development.

The Minnesota Wind Energy Landscape Symposium is a project of Macalester College researchers. Funded by the National Science Foundation, it'ss one of three such

events scheduled across the country to sample public opinion on wind turbine development. The other Symposia were held this summer in Wyoming and Michigan.

Participants will have a chance to hear from experts on the topic of wind development. They'll also have an opportunity to respond to various development scenarios.

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The goal is to develop a set of best practices for local wind development projects.

Macalester Professor Roopali Phadke also hopes to use the information in her study of

visual impact assessments for wind turbine projects, and to better understand public concern about wind turbine location.

In the past few years there's been increasing opposition to wind turbines as a growing number of people object to having wind turbines sited near them because of concerns about visual aesthetics or in some cases, noise from the turbines.

Wind energy development has slowed in recent months as a result of the stagnant economy.

There are several wind turbine projects in various stages of development in west central Minnesota.