Library filed under Transmission from Indiana
Roughly nine months after their decision effectively hampering a proposed wind farm project in Rush County, the Rush County Board of Zoning Appeals will again decide on a permit application from the company working on that project.
Faulstich believes the utility violated its contract approved in 2015 with the farm because the barn is located within the easement for the power line. He fears beef cattle will be harmed by static electricity, noting that he sometimes gets shocked when he touches equipment because of existing power lines. The 24-year-old said the utility has refused to admit the line is being built too close to the barn.
A 750-mile interstate power line promises to deliver wind-generated electricity to Columbia at nearly half the price the city now pays. But the savings cannot be certain until the line is built and contracts are proposed.
"We have sacrificed everything for this land," said Jennifer Gatrel, 33, who, along with her husband, Jeff, farms a 430-acre cattle ranch in western Missouri. "We don't go on vacation. We don't go out to eat. Everything we have is tied up in this land. The idea that somebody can come in and take it from us is appalling and it goes against what it is to be an American."
The approval depends on the developer, Clean Line Energy, getting approvals from the Missouri, Illinois, and Indiana state utility commissions before starting construction in Kansas. The order also specified that construction must begin within five years, and that Clean Line can’t recover any of its costs from Kansas ratepayers.
The Southwest Power Pool serving Texas, Kansas and other states is placing the full cost of building the transmission lines on consumers. "If you make the developers pay for transmission, that cost is enough to make wind energy uneconomical. If you make the local utility in Minnesota pay, they get no benefit. Why pay for a transmission line so some wind farm can sell power to customers east of you?"
Over the next few years, the development of wind energy could cost Indiana households more than $40 million per year, adding at least $2 per month on average to the typical bill for the state's 1.5 million homes. The new cash would help pay for about $16 billion worth of new transmission.
When it comes to the future impact of large wind systems, Marshall County planners are considering plenty. Ordinance amendments regulating wind farms in the county were sent back to the planning commission for more revisions after Dennis Thornton requested local control of tower height restrictions surrounding properly-approved private airstrips.