By Ryan Lengerich firstname.lastname@example.org
When a Pennsylvania company approached Larry Coomer months ago about putting a wind farm on his property outside Woodburn, Coomer’s curiosity won out.
On Wednesday, the Allen County Board of Zoning Appeals gave Community Energy Inc. of Wayne, Pa., final approval to build a 190-foot meteorological mast on Coomer’s farmland on the 200 block of South State Line Road.
The company will use the mast to analyze wind conditions at the site for up to five years, the first step toward building a wind farm. Coomer said he doesn’t know much about wind farms, but the idea to study wind in the area as an alternative source of energy was too interesting to pass up.
“I thought maybe we could farm around one here and get an idea for Allen County what we could do,” Coomer said.
Brian Cocca, a wind development associate for Community Energy, was hesitant to discuss the idea of a wind farm even hypothetical terms. He said the area is considered “marginal” for wind power, and follow-up studies will be necessary no matter what the mast reveals.
Community Energy sees potential in Indiana and has been studying Allen County for more than six months, company officials have said.
Wind energy requires no fuel and creates no emissions from burning fuel. Farming can still take place around the turbines. But environmental groups say bird mortality is a significant problem, as birds that drift into blades often are killed.
Aesthetically, wind farms can be seen for miles in some areas and can be considered unsightly.
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