A wind farm project valued at several hundred million dollars in Story County has been passed through the county’s Planning and Zoning Commission and could begin construction shortly.
The wind farm will include 100 wind turbines, along with buried collection lines, gravel service roads and a substation – the total value of which is approximately $270 million.
The project will be located north of Colo near the Marshall County line.
Marshall County Planning and Zoning Administrator John Kunc said the company planning the operation, FPL Energy LLC of Juno Beach, Fla., has also been inquiring about the possibility of additional turbines in Marshall County.
“They have asked about it, but I have not seen any applications,” Kunc said.
He mentioned the possibility of a large-scale commercial wind farm operation during recent discussions the county had when setting an ordinance for wind turbines.
A meteorological tower has been erected near State Center, ostensibly to collect wind data.
Wind turbines, which spin to generate electricity, have been turning up with increasing regularity in the Central Iowa region, which is known for having strong and steady winds.
However, most of the time, the turbines usually show up one at a time, possibly two. This is the first large-scale venture in the Times-Republican coverage area.
Charlie Dissell, Story County planner, said the Planning and Zoning Commission recommended approval with 21 conditions and that recommendation goes to the Board of Adjustment at its next meeting 6 p.m. Wednesday at Christy Hall in Nevada.
The meeting before the Planning and Zoning Commission lasted approximately four hours.
“Altogether we had five to 10 comment on it,” Dissell said. “I know there were two that were opposed and a lot who were in favor of it.”
Of those opposed, some were concerned about obstructing the view of the landscape and what that may do to property values. Another was concerned with “wind rights” should other private turbines be erected.
By Ken Black
28 September 2007
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