Library from Indiana
The same opposition that spurred the Ohio law can be found in Indiana, where some county officials are taking steps to make their communities unattractive to wind farm developers, with setback restrictions or outright bans.
The biggest hurdle created by the ordinance was a 2,640-foot turbine setback requirement from residences, and 1,500-foot setback from all property lines. Tipton County Commissioner Joe VanBibber, who voted in favor of the new wind ordinance, said that requirement made it extremely difficult to build turbines anywhere in the county.
MIDDLETOWN — As wind farm developers seek to meet the U.S. Department of Energy's goal of 20 percent renewable energy production in Indiana by 2030, some residents in targeted areas are fighting back in inventive ways.
Private developers are in an aggressive push to double the number of Indiana's wind farms. But they must contend with neighbors, lawsuits and the fickle support of elected officials who once welcomed them and are now changing their minds. ...Kenney said the state won't push for wind-energy projects where they're not welcome.
Richardson said the company will honor its obligations to the county and repay money for failing to create jobs in return for funds to develop the business. The company was originally to create 410 jobs, and paid $375,000 in penalties last year for failing to meet numbers.
A total of 23 individuals signed up before the meeting as requested in order to speak. Of those who spoke, only eight said they were for wind farms.
The group of county landowners, who reside in those townships, are challenging the decommissioning agreement between Whitewater Wind LLC and the county commissioners based on their claims that the agreement did not adhere to the county’s zoning ordinance, specifically regarding financial assurance related to the decommissioning and removal of commercial wind turbines once they’ve reached their lifespan of roughly 30 years.
Following the ruling by Decatur County Judge Bailey which supported Rush County BZA’s decision on the setbacks of wind turbine distance from non-participating landowners, APEX Clean Energy/Flatrock Wind Project had 30 days to file an appeal of that decision and last week they did just that.
In a May 21 letter to the News-Press, NextEra manager Jeremy Ferrell encouraged residents to get the facts about wind energy rather than hearken to “myths and fears.” So, I have some facts to share.
A standing-room only crowd of between 50 and 75 people crowded into the board room of the Clinton County Commissioners Monday night for a discussion involving the very controversial topic of wind farms.
The Henry County Planning Commission denied two requests from Apex Clean Energy to build towers in the southern part of the county to gather wind data. The meteorological towers, commonly called met towers, would have been placed in Spiceland and Dudley Township.
A wind-farm aversion is driving a handful of other rural counties — including some that already have turbines — to put moratoriums on any future development as local debate unfolds. “They’re losing favor all over the state,” said Campbell, who’s now working with like-minded opposition in other communities.
Another of the GE 1.6 megawatt wind turbines at the Wildcat Wind facility in Tipton and Madison Counties, Indiana, experienced a catastrophic failure. Residents in the area have lost county the number of times this has happened at the site. Special thanks to the folks in Tipton County for sharing this photograph taken at the site.
“The Board of Zoning Appeals went through that massive hearing, reviewed the evidence and did a superb job of analyzing the information and making their decision,” Snyder said. “So I think from the standpoint of the (decision), Judge Bailey’s standpoint is very detailed and clearly shows the connection between the evidence that was presented and the 2,300-foot setback.”
In regards to the request for a judicial review filed by Apex, Judge Bailey of Greensburg entered his judgment on June 1, 2016 affirming the Rush County Board of Zoning Appeals July 1, 2015 decision, with the Setback Condition. If no appeal is filed, the judicial review will conclude. A brief summary of the ruling can be found below. The order issued by the judge can be accessed by clicking the link(s) on this page.
According to their lawyer, the Henry County Planning Commission had no choice but to approve one-year extensions for the Commission Approved Use (CAU) permits for two wind farm projects that have moved forward in southern Henry County.
Among the concerns from some included the ambiguous language in the original decommissioning agreement and the length of time listed for the security bonds required to pay for the decommissioning of the wind turbines – which appeared to much for a much shorter period of time than the estimated lifespan of the wind farm project, which is required by Fayette County zoning code.
At issue is a series of text messages between an Apex employee and a local resident, parts of which were posted on Facebook. In the texts, the Apex employee asks the local resident to “work on Kim (Cronk) for me.” The resident then asks, “Might there be a job for me with Apex/Flat Rock in the future?” The Apex employee responded, “Deliver Kim and we will talk!”
The first objection states that the real estate does not qualify as an ERA as defined by Indiana Code. “(Roberts) objects to any designation of the subject 21 square miles of real estate as described in the (county’s) preliminary resolution as an Economic Development Area. ...By law, an economic development area is supposed to be undesirable or impossible to develop for economic growth. The objection states that the area in question is “some of the most valuable and productive farmland in Henry County ....”
The Calpine Corporation intends to build 80-100 turbines for a 200 megawatt wind farm. The proposed Big Blue River Wind Farm would include the townships of Greensboro, Jefferson, Harrison and Prairie. But some Henry County residents oppose it.