New Era Wind will no longer pursue wind farm in Goodhue County

A wind development company has finally given state regulators official word that it is no longer pursuing a wind farm in Goodhue County.

New Era Wind wrote to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission asking officials to terminate all pending matters in the case because the company does not intend to build the wind farm. The letter, which the PUC posted on Tuesday, caps a five-year fight a group of local residents have waged against the project.

New Era Wind and its previous owners had planned to build 48 wind turbines on about 50 square miles, but neighbors argued the turbines would threaten their quality of life. Concerns ranged from safety to low-frequency noise to shadow flicker from the turbine blades intermittently blocking sunlight.

Observers have said it's the first major wind project to be rejected in Minnesota.

The project was dealt its biggest blow in June, when regulators found that the company's study on how the turbines would affect birds and bats was inadequate. The company was given one last chance to revive the project, but the letter from New Era puts that possibility to rest.

Before the letter from New Era, it had been months since the PUC and local officials had last heard from owner Peter Mastic.

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