A wind farm developer plans to put five 400-foot turbines in either the Town of Kaukauna or the Town of Freedom
EcoEnergy, the developer, will host a public open house from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday at Freedom High School.
The company, which is headquartered in Freeport, Ill., is also developing two projects in Calumet County. The Outagamie County project will cost about $15 million.
The five turbines will serve Kaukauna Utilities and sit on utility customers’ land, Curt Bjurlin, EcoEnergy’s Wisconsin project developer, said. Kaukauna Utilities is a municipally owned, nonprofit provider of electricity.
Although it has had preliminary conversations with landowners, the company hasn’t chosen any sites, Bjurlin said.
EcoEnergy doesn’t plan to make a formal presentation Thursday. Rather, it will have printed information and company representatives available to talk to public officials, potential neighbors and property owners interested in leasing their land.
“The objective is to spend time talking about any questions or concerns people have,” Bjurlin said.
Proposals for two large wind farms, numbering about 100 turbines each, have caused enormous controversy and conflict in Calumet County, which EcoEnergy hopes to avoid with its small project in Outagamie County.
“There is an important distinction in that they (the small projects) are attached directly to the distribution line,” Bjurlin said. “The energy isn’t taken elsewhere.”
Freedom Town Chairman Tim Maass said Tuesday he doesn’t know of anything in the town’s zoning ordinance that would govern wind energy or turbine placement, and while the Town Board has talked about the venture, it hasn’t taken any action or formulated a position.
Maass said he plans to go to the open house Thursday.
“I just want to talk to them and see what’s going on,” he said. Kaukauna Town Chairman John Alferi could not be reached for comment Tuesday evening.
By Susan Squires
1 April 2008
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