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New wind ordinance handbook features Fillmore County case study

The Distributed Wind Energy Association (DWEA) and the National Association of Counties (NACO) have published a new handbook called “County Strategies for Successfully Managing and Promoting Wind Power: Implementing Wind Ordinances in America’s Counties.” This publication provides an overview of wind ordinances, best practices that work for local communities and the wind industry, case studies of counties implementing wind ordinances, and additional resources.  

The handbook includes several case studies to help county leaders get started in developing policies that safely facilitate wind development. Minnesota’s Fillmore County is featured as one of those case studies. Its wind ordinance provides a conditional use permit for installations generating up to 500 kW and includes provisions for a county-led public input process to ensure proper siting of wind projects. About 10 mid-sized wind projects have been permitted over the last several years in the county. On average, the towers are under 200 feet and generate about 39.9 kW. Larger wind projects—generating 5 MW or more—must undergo state review for permitting.