Minnesota regulators to hold public meeting March 25 on 414-MW wind farm, 345-kV line

Written comments on the matter will be accepted through April 8 by 4:30 p.m., the commission said (docket numbers 18-699, 18-700, or 18-701)

The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission on March 9 said that it will hold a public information and environmental impact statement (EIS) scoping meeting on March 25 in Walnut Grove, Minn., regarding the applications of Plum Creek Wind Farm, LLC for its proposed 414-MW large wind energy conversion system (LWECS) and 345-kV high-voltage transmission line project.

Written comments on the matter will be accepted through April 8 by 4:30 p.m., the commission said (docket numbers 18-699, 18-700, or 18-701), adding that commenters should focus on information that will help answer such questions as:

  • What potential human and environmental impacts of the proposed project should be considered in the EIS and the draft site permit?
  • What are possible methods to minimize, mitigate, or avoid potential impacts of the proposed project that should be considered in the EIS and the draft site permit?
  • Are there any alternative routes or route segments that should be considered to address potential impacts associated with the transmission line?

The commission noted that Plum Creek, an affiliate of Geronimo Energy, LLC, is proposing to build 74 to 110 wind turbines ranging from 2.8 MW to 5.6 MW in size, as well as the associated 31-mile transmission line as part of the project.

The proposed wind facility would also include above- or below-ground electric collection and communications lines; an above-ground electric feeder line; two collector substations; four permanent meteorological towers; a sonic detection and ranging or light detection and ranging unit; two aircraft detection lighting system radars; an operation and maintenance building; as well as new gravel access roads.

The associated transmission line would be built on single-circuit, monopole structures within a 150-foot right of way (ROW) and would connect the wind facility to the existing Brookings-to-Hampton 345-kV transmission line via a new switching station, the commission added.

The project would be located in portions of Cottonwood, Murray, and Redwood counties.

The commission also said that following the written comment period associated with the public information and scoping meeting, the Minnesota Department of Commerce will prepare and propose an EIS scoping decision and a draft site permit for commission approval.

Among other things, the commission said that individuals may sign up to receive notices about project milestones and opportunities to participate or change mailing preference through email at docketing.puc@state.mn.us, or telephone at 651-201-2246.