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Wind easement extension approved

Published (3/23/2012)
By Bob Geiger
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Development of renewable energy on land leased for wind rights could be extended five years.

The House Environment, Energy and Natural Resources Policy and Finance Committee approved HF2226, sponsored by Rep. Bruce Vogel (R-Willmar), March 21 and sent it to the full House. Its companion, SF1534, sponsored by Sen. David Brown (R-Becker), awaits a vote by the Senate.

Both bills would extend the current June 1, 2012 expiration date until June 1, 2017. Originally, the bill was intended to terminate wind easements on land if commercial wind production failed to commence on leased land.

That language arose from concerns that wind rights for land were being purchased without intention to erect wind turbines.

Thom Petersen, director of government relations for the Minnesota Farmers Union, testified that his group supported extending the “use it or lose it” date to 2017.

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