Library from Indiana
A proposed wind farm in Henry County won’t be built. The Henry County Planning Commission voted Tuesday night on the controversial proposal that would have added a Big Blue Ribbon Wind Farm to the area.
POSEY CO., Ind. - A community is divided over a proposed wind turbine farm coming to the area.
Commissioner John Frey says that’s because county residents don’t want wind energy, a position reflected in the comprehensive plan. “We’re going to be just fine without wind energy,” Frey says. Erin Baker ...says this ordinance does put a stop to their plans. “Not only is this disappointing, but it does have an air of finality to it,” she says.
According to the application, the proposed Big Blue River Wind Farm project will be “a wind-powered electric generation facility” with elements in Fall Creek, Jefferson, Prairie, Henry, Harrison and Greensboro Townships. The proposed project will include up to 38 wind turbines and “associate necessary project infrastructure,” which includes access roads, collections lines, performance towers and a substation.
Now the plan commission will revisit the proposed zoning ordinance when they meet again May 29. Last month’s meeting included a public hearing on the proposal with a majority of push-back against zoning, wind farm development or both. Before commissioners can consider anything, the plan commission must “sign off” on some kind of proposal, Taylor said. Five votes are needed to pass out of the commission and go to commissioners.
As protests mounted Monday about the message being sent to the rest of Indiana and world about Tippecanoe County’s commitment to green energy, the biggest turbines and commercial wind farms were banned from rural land around Lafayette and West Lafayette.
Utilities in several states are attempting to run a con game on their respective states’ utility commissions and ratepayers. How? By claiming that their plans for prematurely shuttering existing, reliable, relatively inexpensive coal power plants and replacing them with expensive, intermittent renewable power sources will save ratepayers money “in the long run.” Meanwhile, they ask for an immediate increase in electric rates to pay for the transition.
Wind farms in Tippecanoe County took a blow Wednesday, as planners from across Greater Lafayette recommended an ordinance that would effectively ban commercial turbines. The vote came after a half-dozen people derided the idea, saying that banning wind farms would make Tippecanoe County appear backward at a time when energy sustainability is vital.
As the debate about wind power continues in West Central Indiana, proposed legislation could limit small towns’ ability to regulate turbine construction near their community. A bill reducing extraterritorial powers goes to the House Committee on Government Reduction for a vote Tuesday.
Wind energy is a growing industry in Indiana, but not every community is receptive to the development. Tippecanoe County is working on a proposal to ban wind farms, and Montgomery County is in the midst of an intense debate over two proposed farms. No matter who you ask, wind turbines are a touchy subject in Montgomery County.
E.ON Climate & Renewables is planning a wind farm in Posey and southern Gibson County — and is exploring the feasibility of a second wind farm in areas northwest and south-southwest of Princeton as well.
Basically, EDP is challenging the validity of Murdock Township's zoning, arguing that the Douglas County wind regulations that have been in place for some time should supersede those of the township. Murdock Township responded to the lawsuit with motions asking the court to dismiss the EDP complaints, and Thursday, Judge Gary A. Webber denied some of the motions, but not all of them.
The Jasper County Plan Commission OK’d a draft Monday of the solar power amendment for the county’s Unified Development Ordinance. Members of county government have also confirmed that a committee will be discussing wind turbine setback regulations in the near future.
Boots introduced the bill after elected officials from Darlington and Alamo adopted ordinances regulating wind farms in an effort to eliminate its development.
Tippecanoe County Commissioner Tom Murtaugh, who serves on the Area Plan Commission ordinance committee, asked that a draft of a law be submitted in the near future that would ban large wind farms in the county. Area Plan Commission Director Sally Fahey said the entire committee wanted the proposed ordinance drafted.
Commissioner Tom Murtaugh said an updated ordinance would put those worries to rest. "A change in the overall county ordinance that states that large wind systems will no longer be allowed in Tippecanoe County," he said. If passed landowners would still be able to put in wind turbines, it would just ban industrial wind farms.
Documents show the company appears to have terminated contracts to build wind farm facilities as of Dec. 19 in two area counties. “It is with regret that we have made the difficult decision to conclude our pursuit of the Flat Rock Wind Project in Rush and Henry Counties in Indiana,” Apex development officials said in a statement.
Baker said it has become increasingly difficult over the last several years to maintain the Flat Rock Wind project timeline due to the lack of certainty regarding local government regulations. “The resulting delays, combined with capacity constraints on the electrical grid, have made it infeasible for us to continue our investment in the project,” Baker said.
The ordinance amendment affecting turbine use in the county was brought about by changes proposed by a group of local individuals including Jasper County Plan Commission President Gerrett Dobson, Scott Green and Steve Molenaar. The group’s goal was to provide what it has referred to as “adequate protection to those who choose not to participate in the White Post Wind Project.”