Minnesota Landowners Trying To Terminate Contracts With Wind Power Company

It seemed like a good deal at first, but now landowners are extremely concerned about the impact the new wind power turbines will have on migratory birds.

A handful of participating landowners who agreed to be part of the 78-megawatt wind farm are now anxious to get out of their contracts and have sent what they call a letter of termination to AWA Goodhue.

AWA Goodhue officials declined to comment.

In addition to a long list of other reasons, the landowners — who asked not to be identified — said realizations about possible effects on the area’s wildlife caused them to want out of the project.

“Those landowners a lot of times are making decisions based on what the wind folks are saying,” said Jaime Edwards of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. “If they had both sides of the story, they may not have signed the contracts.”

Officials with the Department of Natural Resources share the concerns of the landowners:

“It’s nice to try to use alternative energy, but we are right on the Mississippi Flyway,” Edwards said. “You really have to look hard at whether something like this should be placed on a flyway.”

Edwards also said that although the project has fewer than 50 turbines planned, once one moves in, she expects more are likely to follow.

“It’s the American way — if one wind turbine is good, then 200 must be better,” she explained. “But is it really?”

Edwards traveled out to and studied the project footprint in order to provide assessments of any potential impacts to the non-game wildlife there.

The irony of green energy projects being waylaid over wildlife concerns shouldn’t be lost on anyone.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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  • Jamermorrow

    Another unintended consequence of government do gooders. 

  • igx

    Land based wind power is stupid except for poverty stricken, rural, third world areas that have no other source. 

  • borborygmi

    Raise the payments and they will decide with their pocket books.

  • mickey_moussaoui

    In twenty years when that tower has to come down due to stress fractures in the base, the utility will hual it away and the land owner will be stuck with that 15 foot deep slab of rebar enforced concrete. It’s in the contract. Read the fine print suckers.

  • Priairie Rose

    All the wind turbines I’ve seen move very slowly but I imagine there are a few birds that fly into it  just like they fly into airplanes, tall buildings and my windows in my ranch style home.   My main complaint is that we taxpayers subsidize these wind farms because they cannot pay for themselves.  And when the wind doesn’t blow, hey, no power!   Imagine that.   And when the sun doesn’t shine, guess what?  No solar power either.   Those long nights can get pretty cold.   Perhaps we need several solar satellites circling the earth always diverting the suns rays to a power plant on earth?   I wonder if anyone has ever thought of that?  Oh wait.  That’s just more space junk waiting to fall on us.   Never mind. 

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