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Planning Commission approves wind turbine CUP

Fri, Mar 28th, 2008
Posted in Government

PRESTON - The Fillmore County Planning Commission, at their Thursday, March 27 meeting, approved a conditional use permit for Renee Haugerud to install two wind turbines near the new home she is building in Carimona Township. The matter will now go before the Fillmore County Board of Commissioners for final approval.

Rich Huelskamp, a consultant with Sun's Warmth of Red Wing, who has been contracted to build the turbines, told the commission that two wind turbines, each capable of producing 10 kW of energy will be erected on 120 foot monopole towers (no guy-wires) across the road from the building site. The propellers on the towers are 22 feet long.

Huelskamp said the wind generators are designed for handling winds up to 30 miles per hour. The noise of the system is 70 decibels at 75 feet.

"It is a high speed free wheeling system with peak performance designed for up to 30 miles per hour," Huelskamp said.

There was no opposition to the plan from township officials or residents, other than clarification as to the location of where the towers will be installed.

According to documents filed with the Fillmore County Zoning office, the wind system will work in tandem with 10 pole-mounted solar tracking electric panels that will produce an additional 20 kW of electricity. Diesel generators will provide backup power, and be housed in a concrete building by the barn.

The combined wind/solar generation will be used primarily for personal consumption, but is also capable of transmitting electricity on the grid. The wind and solar electric system will be less than 40kW, so as not to exceed the state's metering law. The towers are expected to be operational by this fall.

Other Business

• The Planning Commission had a general discussion about campgrounds, including camp sites in the flood plain and setbacks from campgrounds. It also discussed shoreland rules and soil erosion control.

• The next meeting of the Planning Commission is scheduled for May 15.

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