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Published April 29, 2009, 08:00 AM

Letter: Develop Goodhue County wind

Wind resources in the area have finally been recognized, resulting in at least four wind projects proposed in Goodhue County.

By: Gary Luebke, Rosemount, Minn., The Republican Eagle

To the Editor:

Wind resources in the area have finally been recognized, resulting in at least four wind projects proposed in Goodhue County. Having property in a project under development, I find it reassuring to have national organizations involved that are using proven science and experience in wind development since few if any of us locally could properly construct a project.

The best of both worlds come together where a community-based energy development or C-BED is formed and local ownership and input enhances a project’s viability.

Fortunately Minnesota is a leader in regulating wind projects at the state level, unlike Wisconsin where most every local governing body has authority over turbines but with little if any expertise.

We have been reminded recently in this publication of some old issues concerning wind turbines that have been solved some time ago. Minnesota Statute 216F.08 now regulates setback distance from a home to be 500 feet plus a distance to meet the 50 decibels standard, which is about what a refrigerator emits.

Therefore, minimum setback can only be determined after the make and model of turbine is known because the sound level is unique to each model. A typical setback for large turbines is at least 1,350 feet.

I too have noticed red lights on wind turbines from a substantial distance, however the cherished night sky has been challenged some time ago by communication tower lights, and a security light at most every farmstead. Calling it security, safety, or a nuisance is mostly in the eye of the beholder.

New methods of generating energy in Goodhue County are not without precedent. The Prairie Island nuclear plant was built under intense regulations and local input, and we have adapted with little if any inconvenience, especially knowing the Goodhue County treasurer continues to receive very handsome tax receipts.

The same scenario will unfold with wind turbines except additional checks will be mailed to local landowners hosting a wind farm.

Gary Luebke

Rosemount, Minn.

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