INDICE DE GALERIAS
DEXTER, Minn. - It is a pretty common sight in our area seeing wind turbines stretch toward the sky. Soon, there could be more filling the landscape.
Construction on a 100 turbine wind farm is slated to start next year in southeast Minnesota, but the project did not come without challenges.
The town of Dexter already has many wind turbines in their backyard and in a couple of years there could be more and that does not bother Mayor Randy Stephenson one bit.
“I do not believe they hurt the landscape of Mower County in any way,” Stephenson said.
Plus, he said the construction process helps bring more people to town.
“When they're here building the windmills, it's great for the local economy and it's great for the landowners because they end up with x amount of dollars per acre, per year for 30 years which helps the local economy because those landowners will spend some money,” Stephenson said.
This all comes after years of delays with the projects over concerns about whether Congress would renew a wind energy tax credit.
Now Xcel Energy got on board after a year extension on the credit and things started rolling again, but plans have changed some
“It's going to be less wind towers, but the towers are going to be larger in size,” said Mower County Coordinator, Craig Oscarson.
There were supposed to be nearly 200 towers, but now the number has gone down to 100 towers that are more powerful and more efficient.
“It's green energy, but the real issue I think is the most important to the county is it's positive impact on our taxes. Right now we collect about $1.2 million from the wind farms and once this new farm's completely operational and we expect to see that revenue coming in 2017, it could be another $600,000,” Oscarson said.
While that money goes to the county and some local townships, cities like Dexter are still pleased.
“Everybody reaps the benefits one way or another, either through the tax dollars that the county and the townships will get,” Stephenson said.
Right now, Oscarson said the project is supposed to be done and running by October 15, 2015.
88 of the turbines will be in Mower County and 12 will be in Dodge County.
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