Public Utilities Commission rejects Goodhue wind farm plan

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Turbine construction
A crane lefts a section of tower in early 2011 for construction of the Community Wind North project just west of Lake Benton in southwest Minnesota. The wind farm went online last spring. The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission on Thursday rejected an environmental impact plan for a proposed wind farm in Goodhue County.
Photo courtesy of Southwest Wind Consulting

The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission on Thursday rejected a company's plan to minimize eagle and bat deaths at a proposed wind farm in Goodhue County.

Commissioners said the protection plan by AWA Goodhue was inadequate. The ruling is a setback for the $180 million project, which would include about 50 wind turbines in southeast Minnesota.

The company's plan to protect eagles and bats can be resubmitted to the commission. It must be approved before construction can begin.

The company has also applied for an eagle take permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that would allow the turbines to kill a certain number of eagles before the company would face penalties.

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