MOUND CITY – Linn County Commissioners on Monday extended a moratorium on the development of wind farms in the county until December 2021, saying the additional time would allow the county time to collect public opinion on wind development via an advisory vote or survey.
The move followed the county’s adoption in June of a previous moratorium on the development of wind farms December 1, 2020. Commissioners said that delay would give the county time to update its comprehensive plan and get the views of county residents and landowners on the wind energy issue.
Key to the timing of the resolution is the four-year phase-out of tax credits that have incentivized both foreign and American companies for the development of wind farms across the country.
That phase-out culminates in 2020.
The extension of the moratorium comes after Linn County was targeted for a turbine field development by German-based E.ON Climate and Renewables in 2018.
That project would have required approval by the county planning and zoning commission and the county commission in order to start construction.
An opposition movement to that plan grew among county residents, who crowded subsequent P&Z and county commission meetings to reiterate arguments against the project. E.ON was granted a special use permit by planning and zoning in June 2018 to erect a test tower near Mound City. E.ON has not to date submitted a formal application for the project.
Earlier this summer officials with E.ON spoke with county officials and said they were likely to abandon plans for the project. Commissioners asked for a formal written letter of that intention, but have not yet received one.
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