Library from Indiana
The bill, hotly debated throughout the session, would have created some statewide regulations for wind and solar projects and provided some financial incentives from developers for counties that choose to give a green light to such projects. But tough opposition from representatives of local governments, as well as grassroots citizen groups, kept pushing the local control alarm that ultimately may have led to the bill’s demise.
The Utility Committee seems to have heeded Huhn’s word. Senator Mark Messmer drafted what was referred to as Amendment Three, significantly changing the bill. This amendment grandfathers in counties that have more restrictions on renewable energy systems than the standards in the bill, like Henry County’s current wind energy conversion systems (WECS) ordinance. This amendment also reduces the noise limit a wind turbine can make to 50 db (it was higher in the original draft) and increases setbacks from municipalities and state parks to one mile. But most notably, the amendment does away with mentions of home rule, and changed the appeals process – instead of appealing to the IURC, complaints would be filed with the local circuit courts. This was done in an effort to keep more local control.
Plans for dealing with deteriorated turbine blades are insufficient and lead to absurd amounts of material and land waste. There are around 58,000 wind turbines in the U.S. according to the U.S. Wind Turbine Database, with an estimated 3,000 more planned to be erected by the end of this year. While this looks like good news, it brings with it a problem that is becoming more intimidating as time progresses.
The roads in Henry County, Indiana, were dotted with signs protesting projects locals say will infringe on their rights and their quality of life: wind turbines.
During the last decade or so, counties have exercised this power in regard to wind and solar development. County commissioners in over 30 Indiana counties, such as Boone, Marshall and Pulaski, have passed ordinances that restrict or ban industrial wind. These bans and ordinances are the result of months and even years of study and public input and reflect the will of the people in those counties. ...Enter Ed Soliday, a state representative from Valparaiso, who is the author of HB 1381, which establishes statewide standards for siting of wind and solar installations. If passed, this bill would invalidate all existing county ordinances and moratoriums. The House approved the measure by a vote of 58-38 on Feb. 17, and the Senate began consideration of the bill March 1.
Nearly 60 Indiana Counties Pass Resolutions to Oppose HB 1381
The Allen County commissioners Friday joined with those of more than 40 other Indiana counties in opposing a state bill regulating renewable energy. Commissioners said House Bill 1381, which would set standards for wind and solar installations, would place decisions about them at the state level instead of in the hands of local officials. The bill includes setback requirements, height restrictions and sound-level rules usually handled by local plan commissions and zoning boards and would replace a patchwork of local rules.
A bill clearing the path for renewable energy in Indiana at the request of the businesses community has split both major parties and pitted local counties against the bill’s erosion of “home rule.” The bill sets standards for siting solar and wind farms but allows counties to permit and review the process. However, if a county denies a company that meets these standards, a company can appeal to the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission.
Lawmakers have proposed state guidelines for wind and solar farms — like how far they can be from neighboring property owners. Under a new state House bill, local governments wouldn’t be able to make ordinances stricter than those guidelines.
Indiana has a policy of home rule that grants counties, cites, and towns "all the powers that they need for the effective operation of government as to local affairs." (IC 36-1-3-2) ... Wind companies are doing an end-around, quietly hoping you don't notice. HB 1381 would remove the home rule. The bill has not become law yet, but we need to shine the light on this insidious power grab. Learn how you can help.
MT. VERNON, Ind. – Officials put one more nail in the windmill coffin in Posey County. The County Commission voted to prohibit wind turbines within 10 miles of the Doppler Radar sight in Owensville.
Officials put one more nail in the windmill coffin in Posey County. The County Commission voted to prohibit wind turbines within 10 miles of the Doppler Radar sight in Owensville.
POSEY CO, Ind -- Posey County commissioners decided Tuesday to table the proposed wind turbine ordinance amendment. This ordinance would regulate how close wind mills could be built near the Doppler Radar.
For a second time in two months, a wind turbine blade broke off in central Iowa. The latest incident happened Thursday near Paton, in Greene County.
Windfall resident McCorkle said since the Wildcat Wind Farm opened, wildlife has decreased in the area. He said the turbines also wake them up at night, have caused nausea, cause houses to vibrate and interfere with cell phones and satellite service. “Don’t let them bully you into accepting what is not good for all of the people in your county,” he wrote in a letter. “Why should most of us suffer at the greed of a few?”
According to the Indiana Conservative Alliance for Energy at least 29 Indiana counties have ordinances that significantly limit large wind projects. A recent study by Purdue University looks at the attitudes of Indiana counties toward wind energy developments.
The opponents got their way.
RWE pulls the plug on its idea to put a 30,000 acre wind farm in Posey and Gibson counties. The company says recent restrictions put on wind farms have made the effort no longer worthwhile. And even though the idea of wind energy in those areas is dead, the idea of renewable energy is not.
RWE Renewables will not pursue its proposed wind turbine farm in Gibson and Posey counties, citing provisions in the newly adopted Gibson County zoning ordinance that make the project unfeasible to develop. Company officials confirmed that more than 300 landowners were notified RWE plans to terminate the proposed $600 million investment in two 200-megawatt turbine farms on more than 30,000 acres leased across the two counties.
Mines in the Upper Midwest, like the Knight Hawk mine in southern Illinois, produce fuel that powers much of the region's electricity production. That could change as coal plants retire and new wind and solar facilities come online.