PAYNESVEILLE -- A large wind farm planned for western Stearns County has been given the green light from the state.

The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission has approved a certificate of need and a site permit to Geronimo Wind Energy. The 15,000 acre project has been controversial with people on both sides of the issue speaking at today's (Tuesday) meeting.

Dan Schlict says he's concerned about what he calls "modern environmental impacts".

However, Paynesville area dairy farmer Ken Shepard says it's only a small group of people who are opposed to the wind farm.

The 95 megawatt Paynesville Wind Farm will extend across parts of Zion, Paynesville, Spring Hill, and Lake Henry Townships.

They plan to erect up to 60 wind turbines starting in the spring, and hope to be in service by late next year.