Documentary about wind industry to be shown in Byron
BYRON — A third local viewing of the critically acclaimed, award-winning film "Windfall" will be held Wednesday at Somerby Golf Club in Byron. The free event will begin at 7:30 p.m. and is open to the public.
More than 150 attended the first showing in Goodhue, while the second event in Zumbrota drew an even larger crowd, including Minnesota Rep. Steve Drazkowski. Barb Stussy, a Goodhue County citizen opposed to local wind projects, says "a number" of Minnesota and U.S. legislators have been invited to Wednesday's showing.
The film depicts the struggle of a small community on the East Coast to deal with overtures from wind developers, while providing an intimate look at how wind development divided the community. After watching the film in Zumbrota, some local officials likened it to the situation in Goodhue County.
The viewings have been organized by local opposition groups — Goodhue Wind Truth and Coalition for Sensible Siting, who have racked up legal fees approaching six figures while fighting wind projects in Goodhue County. The 50-turbine, 78-megawatt AWA Goodhue wind project was finally approved in June after unprecedented public pushback, though the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission also imposed conditions that could restrict development.
Two other wind companies have projects in the works in Goodhue County, including the EDP Renewables — formerly Horizon Wind — project that could stretch from Northfield to Zumbrota.
An anonymous donor provided the financial means to bring the 83-minute documentary produced by Laura Israel to southeastern Minnesota. Tonight's showing is expected to be the final opportunity to see the film locally.