Wind Project puts bald eagles in danger

Industrial wind not held accountable for violating the Golden and Bald Eagle Protection Act.
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End of the Trail for New Era Wind Farm

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  • Wednesday, June 19, 2013
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  • Citizens hope that the New Era industrial wind project ‘s upcoming Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (MPUC)hearing will be its last. MPUC staff briefing papers for the June 20, 2013 hearing provide two pages of options for Commissioner’s to bring to a close the most contested project in Minnesota history. Staff detailed the previous months’ power purchase contract default letters between Xcel, current project owner Peter J. Mastic, and the project’s legal counsel at Fredrickson and Byron. MPUC staff also point to their thorough February 2013 briefing papers.  Commission staff and citizens teed up this former T. Boone Pickens' project to be put out of its misery by Commissioners. The February hearing ended in citizen disgust as MPUC Commissions acted on advice of their legal counsel by sitting on their hands waiting, again, for someone else to end this mess.

    All vital signs have pointed to the death of New Era/ AWA Goodhue since T. Boone Pickens’ Mesa Power sold the troubled project to Peter Mastic. Mastic, former CEO of the projects former development company, National Wind, bought the project  in October 2012. Xcel’s June 2013 update brings no hope of this project continuing. The contracts are in default. All timelines for remedy have long expired. In addition to not responding to citizens phone calls and letters, Xcel and the MPUC say Mr. Mastic has been Unresponsive to them as well. Xcel’s attorneys told Fredrickson and Byron’s Dan Yarano that New Era can voluntarily withdraw from the contracts “immediately”, or Xcel will begin proceedings in District Court. Evidently, "immediately" illicited no response.
    "As we stated in our response...May 24, 2013, [Xcel] would commence a declaratory judgment action in Minnesota District Court in the event we were unable to work out a voluntary termination of the PPAs. We filed this Declaratory Judgment with the Fourth District Judicial Court on June 14, 2013.... The purpose for this action will be to resolve any questions over whether the magnitude and quality of New Era’s defaults are sufficient to justify termination for default." Xcel; June 17, 2013
    After three pages of whining, Mr. Mastics April letter finally states, indirectly, that he is no longer pursuing a project in Goodhue County, Minnesota. Mr. Mastic implies that he has been attempting to sell his Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) to projects in Minnesota “communities more welcoming”.
    "New Era has no confidence that due process for this project will ever end, nor that an ABPP will ever be approved, however comprehensively and carefully drafted."
    "New Era made a series of proposals to [Xcel], backed by three different project owners.... Each of these projects is sited in a community that is far more receptive to wind energy than is Goodhue." Peter Mastic 4/17/2013

    The Coalition for Sensible Siting congratulates citizens on the death of industrial wind fanatasies in Goodhue County. Citizens shined the light of truth on this project through relentless, five year engagement in an often hideous always iased process. Communities "more receptive to wind energy" generally means communities uneducated or un-engaged. We have yet to find a fully informed community that welcomes Big Wind.
    "[New Era] has (i) failed to advance construction of the Goodhue Project in the timeframes required by the Agreements (even as extended by claimed periods of force majeure) and [New Era] has provided NSP with no plan to advance construction of the Goodhue Project as required by the PPAs; (ii) failed to establish a Security Fund to protect NSP in the event of Project delays or breaches of contract, in breach of...the Agreements; (iii) failed to pay liquidated Delay Damages in the contractual amounts and timeframes, in breach...of the Agreements as amended; and (iv) allowed for a change of control of the Goodhue Project without prior written approval by NSP, in breach of...the Agreements. Defendant has failed to cure these material breaches of the Agreements." Xcel; June 14, 2013


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