Applications of Walleye Wind, LLC

Applications of Walleye Wind, LLC

NOTICE OF PUBLIC INFORMATION AND ENVIRONMENTAL REPORT SCOPING MEETING

Issued: December 18, 2020

In the Matter of the Applications of Walleye Wind, LLC for a Certificate of Need and Site Permit for the Walleye Wind Project and Associated Facilities in Rock County

PUC Docket Numbers: IP7026/CN-20-269 (Certificate of Need) and IP7026/WS-20-384 (Site Permit)

PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (Commission) and Minnesota Department of Commerce (Department) will hold a remote-access public information and environmental report scoping meeting on the applications of Walleye Wind, LLC (Walleye Wind) for its proposed 109.2 megawatt (MW) large wind energy conversion system and associated facilities in Rock County.

The purpose of the meeting is to provide information to the public about the proposed project and the State’s permitting processes for a Certificate of Need and Large Wind Energy Conversion System Site Permit. The meeting is also an opportunity for members of the public to participate in the development of the scope of the environmental report and the sample draft site permit by providing comments on the human and environmental impacts associated with the project, potential mitigation measures for those impacts, and possible conditions to be placed on the project’s construction and operation.

Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, the remote-access meeting will replace the standard in- person meeting, as directed by the Governor’s executive orders. Similar to an in-person meeting, the remote-access meeting will continue to provide interested persons the opportunity to: (1) learn about the state permitting process and the proposed project; and (2) ask questions and provide comments on potential issues and alternatives to be considered for analysis in the Environmental Report (ER) or included as a condition in a draft site permit. The remote-access public meeting will be held at the following date and time:

Date: Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Time:        6:00 p.m.

Location: Remote-Access Meeting (telephone and/or internet)

Written comments may be submitted through January 26, 2021 using the methods described in this notice.

To find out if the meeting is canceled call 1-855-731-6208 or 651-201-2213 or visit mn.gov/puc. You can participate in the meeting in multiple ways:

•To listen to the meeting and provide verbal comments, follow the directions below 

to access the hearing over the telephone. You must join the meeting by telephone 

if you are interested in listening or providing verbal comments.

•To view the speaker presentations, follow the directions below to access the 

hearing over the internet. You must join the hearing over the internet if you are 

interested in viewing the speaker presentations.

•If you wish to listen to the hearing and watch the presentations, you must join 

the hearing by both telephone and internet.

Join the meeting by telephone

(audio only)

Join the meeting by internet

(video only – no audio)

Phone: 1-866-609-6127 or

1-800-374-0221

Conference ID: 2160516 An operator will assist you https://tinyurl.com/ycbohg26 

or https://minnesota.webex.com Event Number: 146 328 6493

Event Password: Walleye2021

Please contact Charley Bruce, Public Advisor (charles.bruce@state.mn.us or 651-201-2251) if you have questions on how to participate or have trouble accessing the meeting.

Please Note. Prior to the meeting, presentation materials and handouts will be available on the Department’s project website: https://mn.gov/eera/web/project/13893/. If you do not have adequate access to the internet and want to review the materials being presented, contact Suzanne Steinhauer (suzanne.steinhauer@state.mn.us or 651-587-1843) to receive printed copies via U.S. Mail.

Meeting Information

•The meeting starts on time and ends when all attendees have had the opportunity 

to comment and all other business has been concluded.

•State agency staff members run the meeting.

  •After a brief presentation, the meeting will be open for questions and comments. 

You must join the meeting by telephone in order participate in the question 

and comment portion of the meeting. To submit a question in advance of the 

meeting, please mail or email your question to suzanne.steinhauer@state.mn.us 

with “Meeting Question” in the subject line. There will be time set aside during 

the meeting to answer these questions.

•Representatives from the Commission, Department, and Walleye Wind will be 

available to answer questions about the permitting process and the project.

•You may add verbal comments, written comments, or both into the record.

Meeting Record. A record of the meeting, including all public comments, will be available for review after the meeting date. Links to the meeting record will be available on the Department’s website and on the Commission’s electronic docketing system (eDockets).

Written Comment Period

Written comments will be accepted through January 26, 2021. Please include the docket numbers (20-269, or 20-384) in all communications. Comments received after the close of the comment period may or may not be considered.

Please focus your comments on information that will help answer the following questions:

•What potential human and environmental impacts of the proposed project should 

be considered in the ER and the draft site permit?

•What are possible methods to minimize, mitigate, or avoid potential impacts of 

the proposed project that should be considered in the ER and the draft site permit?

•Are there any unique characteristics of the proposed site or the project that should 

be considered?

•Are there other ways to meet the stated need for the project, for example, a 

different size project or a different type of facility? If so, what alternatives to the 

project should be studied inthe ER?

•Are there any items missing or mischaracterized in any of the applications, or 

issues that need furtherdevelopment?

Comments may be submitted:

Online:     https://mn.gov/commerce/energyfacilities/#comment

Email: suzanne.steinhauer@state.mn.us

U.S. Mail: Suzanne Steinhauer, Environmental Review Manager Minnesota Department 

      of Commerce

      85 7th Place East, Suite 500

      St. Paul MN 55101

Fax:       651-539-0109

Important. Comments will be made available to the public via the Commission’s website, except in limited circumstances consistent with the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act. The Commission does not edit or delete personal identifying information from submissions.

Project Description

Walleye Wind, LLC has proposed the construction of an up to 109.2-megawatt (MW) Large Wind Energy Conversion System in Rock County. The project would include construction of between 40 and 44 wind turbines with nameplate capacities between 2.32 and 2.82 MW each. Associated facilities would include collection lines, a collector substation, an operations and maintenance facility, a construction laydown yard, crane paths, gravel access roads, a meteorological tower, and a generation tie line of less than 500 feet connecting the collector substation to the existing Rock County Substation.

Process Information

Before the project can be built the Commission must approve a certificate of need and site permit. The Commission accepted Walleye Wind’s certificate of need and site permit applications as complete in its order filed October 20, 2020. This means the company submitted all the information required to begin the review process. The Commission’s decision-making process takes about 12 months.

The Department’s Energy Environmental Review and Analysis (EERA) staff will prepare an environmental report (ER) on this project. The ER analyzes the potential human and environmental impacts of the proposed project and alternatives, as well as ways to address those impacts.

After the ER is issued, an Administrative Law Judge will hold a public hearing. You may speak at the hearing, ask questions, and submit written comments about the project.

After the public hearing and the subsequent written comment period, the Commission reviews all the information in the record, including all public comments received. The Commission’s final decision on the certificate of need and site permit for this project is expected in 2021.

How to Learn More

Department of Commerce Project Website: https://mn.gov/eera/web/project/13893/

Project Mailing List: Sign up to receive notices about project milestones and opportunities to participate (meetings, comment periods, etc.).

Contact docketing.puc@state.mn.us or 651-201-2204 with the docket numbers (20-269 for the certificate of need and 20-384 for the site permit), Leesa Norton, 121 7th Place East, Suite 350, St. Paul, MN 55164 and leesa.norton@state.mn.us.

Full Case Record: See all documents filed in this docket via the Commission’s website - mn.gov/puc, select Search eDockets, enter the year (20) and the docket number (269 or 384), select Search.

Subscribe to receive email notification when new documents are filed.

1. mn.gov/puc

2. Select Subscribe

3. Type your email address

4. For Type of Subscription, select Docket Number

5. For Docket Number, select 20 in the first box, type “269” for the certificate of 

need or “384” for the site permit in the second box

6. Select Add to List

7. Select Save

*Note - subscribing may result in a large number of emails.

Community Locations: The certificate of need and site permit applications are available at these locations:

• Rock County Community Library: 201 W Main St, Luverne, MN 56156

Minnesota Statutes and Rules: The certificate of need for the project is reviewed under Minnesota Statutes, Chapter 216B. The rules for review of the certificate of need are Minnesota Rules Chapter 7849. The site permit for the project is reviewed under Minnesota Statutes Chapter 216F. The rules for review of the site permit are Minnesota Rules Chapter 7854. These statutes and rules are available at www.revisor.mn.gov.

Project Contacts

Public Utilities Commission Public Advisor

Contact Charley Bruce, charley.bruce@state.mn.us or 651-201-2251

Public Utilities Commission Energy Facilities Permitting Planner

Michael Kaluzniak, mike.kaluzniak@state.mn.us or 651-201-2257

Department of Commerce Environmental Review Manager

Suzanne Steinhauer, suzanne.steinhauer@state.mn.us , 651-539-1843 or 1-800-

657-3794

Walleye Wind Project Contact

Mike Weich, mike.weich@nexteraenergy.com or 561-281-0373

 

**PLACE PROJECT LOCATION MAP HERE**

If any reasonable accommodation is needed to enable you to fully participate in these meetings (e.g., sign language, foreign language interpreter, large print materials), please contact the Commission at 651-296-0406 or 1-800-657-3782 at least one week in advance of the meeting.

To request this document in another format such as large print or audio, call 651.296.0406 (voice). Persons with a hearing or speech impairment may call using their preferred Telecommunications Relay Service or email consumer.puc@state.mn.us for assistance.

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