Library from Iowa
A man working on the construction of a wind turbine near Huxley has died after he fell at least 40 feet inside the turbine, officials with the Story County Sheriff’s Office said.
Last month, a bald eagles’ nest on the property of Mary Katzer in rural western Grundy County vanished after almost four years, and because of the effect that it would have had on the yet to be constructed Ivester Wind Farm, the recent news has received attention from residents and conservation authorities alike.
Joe Larson, who represented the landowners, said the setbacks should be 2,650 feet from a residence and 1,500 feet from a property line, “similar to a hog confinement.” ...The supervisors said the concerns were valid, but they were not ready to take action.
The Muscatine County Board of Supervisors tabled action Monday on a proposed wind energy ordinance to give county officials more time to prepare regulations involving protection of farmland and county roads.
The planning and zoning commission is now in the process of writing up a recommendationon whether to keep the ordinance, change it to make the rules stricter or completely scrap the ordinance to ensure that no new projects are allowed.
The bill passed on a 63 to 33 vote. Representative Vicki Lensing of Iowa City was among the Democrats who joined with Republicans to pass the bill. “I support jobs. I support economic development, but this is a private company coming in, wanting exceptions at the expense of private land owners.”
“We know of multiple individuals across Iowa who have 150-foot towers being contemplated to be built within 200 feet of their homes. To have that hanging over their heads year after year after year … is not something we believe is fair to Iowans.”
The board on Monday rejected the third request by Clean Line Energy Partners to split the case into two separate hearings.
As work on a wind-energy transmission line moves forward in other states, developers say the regulatory process in Iowa is holding back the project. The hotly debated Rock Island Clean Line, designed to ferry new wind energy from northwest Iowa to points east, is a fundamentally different type of transmission project[and] requires a fundamentally different sort of regulatory process.
The bald eagle recovery program in Iowa is perhaps our state’s best wildlife management success story to date, but progress is being lost due to the mass killing of bald eagles by industrial wind turbines. This conflict between industry and environment is now playing out near Fairbank, Iowa located in Fayette County, where shell companies Mason Wind (parent firm is China’s largest naval defense contractor) and Optimum Renewables (parent company is a German wind services firm) are attempting to build their wind farm in an area known for bald eagle habitats.
In order to ensure your project moves forward — even without state approval — you have broadened your approach to include a federal legislative effort. Senate Energy Bill 1017 would grant eminent domain authority despite our state laws. Please understand the depth of staunch and unbending opposition we have to this concept. We are lobbying our Congressional and Senate delegation to prevent you from ever having that tool.
Two Apex Clean Energy representatives approached the Clay County Board of Supervisors last week to discuss the company's proposed Upland Prairie Wind project.
Maintenance issues have plagued the project over the last few years. Today, the owners are faced with repair costs of up to $100,000 to keep the turbines in operation.
A proposed wind farm in Palo Alto County was a main concern during the Palo Alto County Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday, November 17. Several local area farmers as well as representatives from Steier Ag Aviation were on hand to discuss concerns over how a wind farm could potentially affect area farmers.
Backers of the proposed Rock Island Clean Line, a subsidiary of Houston-based Clean Line Energy Partners, asked the Iowa Utilities Board to put a hold on the technical review as the company determines the process for moving the project forward in Iowa, a Clean Line spokeswoman said Thursday. “The regulatory process in Iowa is unique because companies are required to complete right-of-way acquisition up front before the IUB has determined whether the project is in the public interest,” spokeswoman Sarah Bray said.
Optimum Renewables, on behalf of Mason Wind LLC, withdrew its request for a special permit from Black Hawk County zoning officials to develop a site near Dunkerton before a hearing Tuesday night. The project faced heavy opposition from surrounding property owners.
Opponents said the turbines would take farm land out of production, lower surrounding property values, hinder farming operations and kill birds and other wildlife. Some were concerned about human health impacts.
INDEPENDENCE/FAIRBANK - On Wednesday, Aug. 2, Buchanan County Zoning & Planning Commission met at the Independence Public Health Building to discuss and vote on a request to rezone two parcels in Section 7, Fairbank Township, in proximity to Buchanan County’s Amish settlement. The request seeks permission from the Commission to rezone the site from A1 to A2 for the purpose of leasing out the land to Optimum Renewables for the construction of three small wind turbines at that location.
Jane Albright Lee, whose family farms near the proposed site, said wind farms that have been cropping up across the state are a threat to agriculture. "It's going to come at a steep price for the neighboring farmland, if wind turbines continue to sprout up across America's best agriculture land," she said. "I hope you consider that agriculture is what Iowa is."
Officials estimate the equipment should generate $12,000-$14,000 annually, but has earned far less due to mechanical breakdowns. Instead, it's generated about $4,050 in total profits over the past five years, Crozier said.