Minnesota homes can now install taller wind turbines
Residents in Washington County, Minnesota, can now install much larger wind turbines on their property – double the current size, in fact, to 199 feet – as long as they meet certain conditions, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports.
According to the news source, the County Board made the decision last week, voting 4-1 in favor of changing the original ordinance, established in 2002, that stated wind turbines could not exceed 100 feet. The decision could also have far-reaching effects in nearby cities, including Forest Lake, Scandia and Hugo, where there is vast open land and several wind farms have been proposed.
"Cities look at our recommendations to determine how they should go," said Board Chair Dennis Hegberg. "This is fair and reasonable."
The changes came after the county's planning advisory committee assessed the effects of raising the height restriction, and studying a project in which one resident installed such a structure on his property.
According to National Wind, Minnesota is one of the country's foremost states in wind energy production, coming in fourth behind Texas, California and Iowa. Since 1987, more than 60 wind farms have cropped up, with total wind energy capacity of more than 1,800 megawatts.