WORTHINGTON — Three different entities received conditional use permits from the Nobles County Planning Commission Wednesday evening as part of the approval process for the Nobles 2 wind farm, which will be constructed outside Wilmont.
Tenaska Director of Construction and Engineering Kevin Shouse explained two different CUPs Tenaska requested. The first permits a collector substation six acres in size that will include two transformers and 12 underground circuits, with a total capacity of 115 kilovolts. The second allows an operation and maintenance building on a 4-acre parcel of land. Plans for the building include propane heating, a parking lot, a secured entrance, a septic tank and storage.
The substation will be staffed from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday on a 20-year contract.
Commissioners asked Shouse to ensure that the driveways have 19-inch culverts and to commit to controlling weeds on the properties.
On behalf of Northern States Power, a subsidiary of Xcel Energy, land rights agent Seth Wight and engineer Chris Ayika explained the need for the requested CUP. Northern States Power will operate a substation adjacent to the collector substation, which will move the power onto the network for use.
Tenaska has hired Mortenson Construction as the contractor on the project. Design Phase Manager Cody Meyers explained that Mortenson needs a CUP for a temporary laydown yard to house construction facilities, spanning 14 acres.
The facility will include two temporary driveways, one off of CSAH 18 and one off of Fellows Avenue. Mortenson will install signs to warn the public of excess traffic in the area. When construction is completed, Mortenson will re-grade the land and return it to its regular condition.
All four CUPs will be submitted to the Nobles County Board of Commissioners for approval at the board's July 2 meeting.