New Wind Era, developer of a long-delayed wind farm in Goodhue County, Minn., has been ordered to either prove it will begin construction or give up its site permit by Aug. 23.
According to a Minnesota Public Radio report, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) issued New Era Wind the ultimatum last week, charging the developer had failed to keep the commission up to date on the project's progress and ease public concerns.
Originally called Goodhue Wind, the 78 MW New Wind Era community wind farm was proposed by American Wind Alliance LLC (AWA) and National Wind and was slated for commercial operation in 2011. The project came up against regulatory hurdles and strong opposition from local residents contending that the project would cause health issues and harm wildlife, especially eagles. In 2012, AWA sold the project to Peter Mastic, former CEO of National Wind and current head of New Wind Era.
At press time, Mastic did not respond to requests for comment.
In addition, Minneapolis-based utility Xcel Energy recently filed a lawsuit against New Wind Era regarding its power purchase agreement with the project. Minnesota Public Radio reports Xcel wants to void the agreement because the developer did not meet deadlines to secure financing and achieve commercial operations. New Era Wind must respond to the claim by July 8.