Judge sides with Xcel, throws out wind-farm suit

  • Article by: David Shaffer , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 15, 2013 - 6:41 PM

The case involved risks to two species of protected birds.

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supervon2Apr. 5, 13 6:05 AM

I am not certain who won here. The payers get to pay more for expensive electricity and the bird people are getting closer to making their point. All I know is that I pay more and more and more and more every year.

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imcountryApr. 5, 13 8:29 AM

With Most of Minnesota's best wind resources already taken we now see projects trying to force their way in based on ease of connection rather than good siting. New Era Wind in Goodhue County proposes to build in the Mississippi flyway in an Important Eagle Use Area occupied by an estimated 418 nesting & Migratory Bald Eagle. USFWS estimate 8-14 eagle kills per year and studies show as much as 47% of birds leave the area after a wind development is constructed. Eco Harmony Proposes to build surrounding Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park a known karst formation w/major bat colonies. Poor siting had turbines placed on known sink holes. The wind industry has some bad players. It's time for some closer scrutiny. Xcel is doing the right thing in walking away from a Bad Project. New Era & Eco Harmony Both give the wind industry a Black Eye. Lets hope they meet the chopping block soon.

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imcountryApr. 5, 1310:46 AM

FYI: Whooping Cranes saved by not building the Merricourt project are some of the same Whooping Cranes endangered by the New Era wind project in Goodhue County on the Mississippi Flyway. They all fly north in a 200 mile wide corridor. Some go to North Dakota, some to Wisconsin.

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imcountryApr. 5, 1311:00 AM

The Mississippi Flyway may soon be a path to extinction for many bird species with the current Midwest Wind Energy Multi-Species Habitat Conservation Plan being drafted by the Department of Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service(FWS-R3-ES-2012-N179; FXES11120300000F2-123-FF03E00000) encouraged by the wind industry proposing to produce 25% of the entire US electrical energy from wind in a 8 state region encompassing the states of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin. Such a land mass covered by enough wind turbines to produce 25% of all electrical energy for the entire US would effectively cut off migration to Lake Superior, Lake Michigan, Lake Huron & Lake Erie as well as block the Mississippi Flyway. The extinction of many species could result.

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davehougApr. 5, 1311:55 AM

Sounds like there is $$$ to be made with a bird-safe turbine design :)

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member11Apr. 5, 1312:49 PM

Despite what EDF may "believe" there is no grounds to appeal on here. EDF failed to obtain a permit by the drop dead date in the contract, and Xcel exercised its right to cancel the project. End of story.

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TruecoatApr. 5, 13 1:14 PM

It's estimated that a billion birds die every year from striking buildings and skyscrapers. Why don't you make a big deal about that? Another big deal about nothing.

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mjcmspApr. 5, 13 2:41 PM

"It's estimated that a billion birds die every year from striking buildings and skyscrapers. Why don't you make a big deal about that?" ---- Do you have a source for that statistic? A BILLION? I doubt it.

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esandeenApr. 7, 1312:37 PM

mjcmsp, google "When Birds and Glass Collide" from the Audubon Society. From the article, "Daniel Klem Jr., an ornithologist who has devoted his career to studying bird collisions" . . . "estimates that at least a billion birds—roughly five percent of the bird population after breeding season—die annually across the United States by colliding with windows."

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