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Wind towers allowed, but not many qualify

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news Wadena, 56482
Wadena Minnesota 314 S. Jefferson, P.O. Box 31 56482

For green energy enthusiasts, there is some good news: the city of Wadena is drafting an ordinance to allow wind energy towers within the city limits. The bad news: almost no one has enough land to qualify.

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The trouble, explained Planning and Zoning Director Byron Larson, is that if a wind tower gets blown over, it can't crash into your home. So a tower can only be placed in a large, open space that would allow it to fall down and not hit any structures.

"The main things with these things is to have enough room for it," he said. "They are susceptible to high winds -- they can fall down. So you have to have enough room on your property."

An original draft of the ordinance required 2.5 acres of open space to operate a wind turbine, Councilwoman Jeanette Baymler pointed out, and "that would eliminate pretty much everyone in Wadena."

Even with the smaller requirement allowing for space for the turbine to fall, "very few places" would meet the requirement, Larson said.

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