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State considers wind project's avian protection

State considers wind project's avian protection Click to Enlarge Photo:

Feb 25, 2012 at 4:38 pm

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - State regulators will consider whether a plan to protect birds and bats from a wind farm in Goodhue County is adequate.

The plan before the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission Thursday is the final state-mandated step for the $180 million wind project that's been under consideration since 2009.

Goodhue Wind wants to build about 50 turbines north of Zumbrota in southeast Minnesota. Opponents say the company's plan to protect eagles and bats isn't sufficient.

The company says it will apply for a permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that would allow it to kill a certain number of eagles before the company would face penalties - likely one bald eagle every two to three years.

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