Windfarm to be Decommissioned

By Jill Fennema –

At last week’s county board meeting, Pipestone County Environment Administrator Kyle Krier presented an application for a conditional use permit for Woodstock Hills LLC, to decommission several wind turbines and build four larger turbines and a one megawatt solar generation on the existing site.

The Woodstock Wind Farm was initially developed as 10.2-MW wind facility consisting of 17 first generation wind turbines, but those types of wind turbines are facing rising costs of operation and maintenance.

Corey Juhl with Juhl Energy explained what is involved with decommissioning wind towers.  The rotors, nacelles, and towers of these 17 wind turbines will be disassembled and then the concrete foundations will be excavated out to three feet below grade. The underground cables will remain underground, as will the rest of the concrete.

Krier asked whether taking out the cable and salvaging it was cost effective, and Juhl said that it is much more cost effective to leave it. Pulling the wires from underground is not really an option he said.

The project is expected to begin this fall.

For the complete article, please see the August 2nd edition of the Edgerton Enterprise. If you do not currently receive the Enterprise, CLICK HERE for information on how to subscribe!

The sun is setting on some of the earliest windfarms that were installed in southwest Minnesota nearly 20 years ago. These windmills will be torn down and replaced with new technology. (Photo by Macy Halbur)