Articles from Iowa
The proposed Salt Creek Wind Farm project in Tama County made significant steps toward becoming a reality recently.
The Delaware County Board of Supervisors recently denied a request from Con Edison for variances on a proposed wind turbine project. The project calls for three wind turbines along driveways from 230th Street in Prairie Township. The turbines would be connected with an underground collection line that follows east along 230th Street to 167th Avenue.
With the year 2020 coming to a close, KMA News presents "Project 2020," a series of reports looking back at the top local and regional news stories of the past year. Today's segment features a look at the issue of wind turbines in Page County.
Shenandoah -- It's no stretch to say the future of wind energy production in Page County is at stake in Tuesday's general elections.
MidAmerican Energy, has idled more than 40 wind turbines at Iowa wind farms after a 50 metre-long turbine blade broke off and fell into a field last week. ...“The turbine that had the blade failure last week is the same type of turbine that had a blade failure last month in Adair Countym” he said. “They also had the same type of lightning system in them that channels lightning from a strike near a wind turbine blade down into the ground safely.
MidAmerican Energy says it has idled nearly four-dozen electricity-generating wind turbines while workers check them for safety after blades broke off of two similar turbines over the past two months. Those blade failures follow a break earlier this year and one in 2019.
When you count the cost of losing our peace in our homes, loss of property values, harm to our wildlife, harm to the land and agricultural businesses, the price of decommissioning the turbines once they are outdated and need to be torn down, and the loss of community relationships — you realize that the total cost of wind turbines has been and will continue to be staggering.
Adair County farmer Curt Beane said the blade crushed the corn below, but nobody was injured. “I work in the field that it came down, and I do have true safety concern,” Beane said. Beane said he does not own the land that the blade fell onto, but he does farm it.
The Kossuth County Board of Supervisors is considering how to craft what essentially would be a ban on the expansion of commercial wind energy production in the county.
Mike and Tanya Lamb live in rural Adair County, and there are about 80 turbines near their property. Tanya cited the noise from the structures as an ongoing problem for her family, making it difficult for them to sleep.The shadow flicker from the blades adds to the discomfort. “There is a constant beating, vibrating noise,” she said. “And we can feel the pressure on our ears.”
Why, then, spend public dollars on FBI role-playing? Because the energy industry wanted it. The exercise came “at the request of an USBUS private energy sector partner, following 14 environmental extremist attacks against transportation infrastructure in Iowa that services the energy sector, particularly oil pipelines,” said one of the documents about the exercise. Privately owned and operated companies and industry groups — none of which were named in the reports — were intimately involved in the exercise: An Iowa utility company and a wind energy lobbyist group provided information to help judge the fake attack plans and assess the fake “threat environment,” and an industry representative joined two of the teams, posing as an insider accomplice.
Senator Zach Whiting of Spirit Lake, a member of the Iowa Legislature’s Administrative Rules Review Committee, said he has a number of concerns about “the dramatic expansion of eminent domain authority the Utilities Board appears to give itself.” Private property rights and utility development have been a flash point for lawmakers from both parties for years.
“I have a number of concerns about these proposed rules from the Iowa Utilities Board,” Whiting said in a statement. “My principal concern is the dramatic expansion of eminent domain authority the IUB appears to give itself. Private property is one of the fundamental aspects of our republic. “Eroding those rights through administrative rule-making conflicts with the founding principles of our state and nation,” Whiting said.
Keynon is trying to get away from the legal position of saying “stop” because he isn’t sure he can take a legal position and defend the county by saying that. Instead, the board can say it is putting on hold, pausing or slowing this process down. Ultimately, the board adopted the policy to put a hold on any new applications until January 1, 2021. The policy will be implemented August 1.
The Winnebago County Board of Supervisors heard some concerns about a new wind turbine project in the works in the northern part of the county and decided to do some further research on the topic before making any decisions. The Worthwhile Wind Energy Center is a proposed wind development in Worth and Winnebago counties on private land, according to a statement by the developer, Invenergy.
Iowa, a national leader in wind energy, is weighing new rules for siting renewable energy projects — regulations that could shake up a system that's enabled billions of dollars of investment in the state over the past two decades.
About two-dozen farmers and landowners in western Iowa say MidAmerican Energy is failing to fully pay them for damage caused when building an 81-turbine wind farm in Ida County. It's another point of tension in the relationship between rural residents and the Des Moines company, which has made Iowa a national leader in wind generation, building about 3,000 turbines across the state.
The company submitted records to the county showing the agreements have been reached. Levy said the agreements have been executed and the company would e-mail copies of them to the county. In cases where NextEra could not reach agreements with landowners, the company curtailed operations of turbines close to the county residents’ homes so the machines are within the acceptable noise and shadow flicker limits.
Land & Liberty chapters are operating in several Midwestern states: Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Indiana and now Iowa. Boeyink said several Iowa counties are moving toward restrictive ordinances or moratoriums that could serve as blueprints for other counties. That was a large factor in the decision to establish a Land & Liberty chapter in the state now, he said.
On May 22, 2020, the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) opened a rulemaking proceeding that will change 20 years of precedent on siting of wind farms and, for the first time, establish rules aimed directly at siting solar projects and energy storage projects.