Articles from Iowa
Area residents and landowners voiced their opposition to the Palo Alto Wind Project to the Palo Alto County Board of Supervisors during their regular meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 10.
The atmosphere was tense and tempers flared during the public hearing held by the Palo Alto County Supervisors on Thursday, Oct. 5. The meeting was held to review the wind turbine application submitted by Invenergy as well as giving the public an opportunity to give comments regarding their feelings of the proposed Palo Alto Wind Project.
SPENCER, Iowa — More wind turbines are set to sprout on rural Northwest Iowa farmland in the coming years.
A growing number of mostly rural citizens are coming together to stop this industrial onslaught on our rural communities. We are connected state by state, country by country, across the Internet. We make documentaries, write books, write articles, speak with lawmakers, give presentations, maintain websites and have our own supporting experts.
After more than a year of discussions with Interstate, Optimum finally filed a complaint in April with the Iowa Utilities Board. It alleges that Alliant made a “non-negotiable” offer to purchase power at a rate and under terms that, according to Optimum, ensure that “these projects will not be able to secure financing.”
An informational meeting regarding the Palo Alto County Wind Project was held by the Palo Alto County Supervisors on Thursday, Sept. 21 at the Emmetsburg VFW. With well over 50 people in attendance, the meeting was a chance for residents of Palo Alto County to express their opinions as well as for experts in several fields to answer any questions that arose.
William Shay, the lead attorney for the alliance, said the court agreed with the Illinois Landowners Alliance, Farm Bureau and ComEd on the definition of public utility. "The Court noted that nothing stops Rock Island (Clean Line) from seeking to develop its project as a private facility, but it will not have public utility status, including the right to condemn landowner easements through eminent domain," he added.
MINNESOTA -- A proposed project would see the construction of 100 wind turbines, spread over two counties in two states. The farm would be built in Freeborn County, Minn. and Worth County, Iowa.
The various companies currently operating in Palo Alto County would have us believe that their proposed 177-turbine project is all but a done deal. In fact, a neighbor of mine was approached just a week or so ago for permission to cross his land with connecting cables. When he declined, the man insinuated that they would be able to do so anyway.
Farmers feel outnumbered and outfinanced by powerful energy companies, government officials, and green energy advocates, all of whom they say have incentive to ignore their problems. The key word here is setbacks, which is the distance turbines must be kept from occupied buildings, property lines, and roads. Farmers say if they had input on setbacks or could vote on where turbines were built, many of their problems would be minimized or eliminated altogether.
“I think that 90 days is very little to ask for what’s going to affect this county and the people who live in this county — how they live, how safe they are and what their health is — for the next 30 or 40 years,” Cory said.
“I don’t think our ordinance with a 60 decibel sound limit and no word of a setback from an occupied residence protects my health and well-being,” McGarvey said. “In effect, they have trespass rights on my property with ice throw, blade throw, whatever. That isn’t right.” Resident Greg Cory joined those calling for county government leaders to start the discussion now.
Opposition to those projects is also growing. Lucas Nelsen, a policy program associate with the Center for Rural Affairs, says there are reasons for those objections.
The project still needs to go before the boards of adjustment in the two counties to obtain necessary conditional use permits before being finalized. The Dickinson County Board of Adjustment will hold a hearing on the matter July 24th.
But MidAmerican told the board the project would be economically feasible only if it's allowed to retain 100 percent of the PTCs. The IRS allows wind farm owners to requalify for the PTC for an additional 10 years under the 80/20 rule that requires no more than one-fifth of the fair market value of the re-powered turbine to be used equipment.
President Donald Trump has come under fire from wind-energy advocates for comments he made during a recent speech in Cedar Rapids. While promoting his “America First” energy plan, Trump stated, “I don’t want to just hope the wind blows to light up your homes and your factories … as the birds fall to the ground.”
Besides taking exception to the procedural tack chosen by MidAmerican, the tech companies said the commission should decide the prudence of the proposed investment instead of doing it when the utility fields its next rate case, which will be at least a decade. ..."The board must thoroughly consider the proposal in a deliberative process to ensure that it arrives at the right decision."
Garner said the turbine in question is a 2.5 mega-watt Clipper turbine, located on the organization's Endeavor I Wind Energy Center in Osceola County. There is a second Endeavor energy center also located in the county, both beginning operation in 2008.
The Ocheyedan Fire Department was called to the scene ...They stood by after the decision was made to let the fire burn itself out.
“So when Invenergy talks about most of the time the noise will be controlled and most of the time the lights won’t hit your house and It'll be one or two%. Well I know what it's like and it's huge when you are the 1 or two%."