Letter: Meeting on new wind farm is planned next week

Published 9:27 pm Wednesday, December 13, 2017

At 6 p.m. Dec. 19 in Room 124 at Riverland Community College, the Minnesota Department of Commerce is holding a public comment and scoping meeting for the transmission line designed to serve the Freeborn Wind project. This is the opportunity for you to raise any questions and concerns about what issues should be investigated and reviewed in the Department of Commerce’s environmental review. This includes all of the things you know about the area, and any alternatives that should be in the mix.

Minnesota has a policy of non-proliferation of transmission corridors, which means that as a matter of law, transmission should be routed using existing corridors, such as transmission lines already in place or road right of way.  This line, instead, is proposed to traverse cross country.  That’s not non-proliferation.

Another problem is that Freeborn Wind developers claim they have land rights to all land needed for this transmission line, and then state that they’ll use eminent domain if they don’t. Well, which is it? And it’s troubling, because only public service corporations have the power of eminent domain, but Freeborn is a LLC, not a public service corporation. To make things more complicated, need has not been demonstrated, and there is no certificate of need. Need is a requirement for use of eminent domain. What’s their basis for saying they can use eminent domain?

This is yet another overreach by the developers — more infrastructure, which would forever change the landscape of this community.  Dec. 19 at Riverland College — now is the time to speak up!

Carol A. Overland

attorney

Association of Freeborn County Landowners