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Clinton County moving ahead with wind farm plans, looks at regulations

FRANKFORT – Members of the Clinton County Area Plan Commission Ordinance Review Committee spent some time Tuesday afternoon taking a close look at zoning regulations that govern potential wind farms in the county.

The meeting held here is the first session the committee has had since several members toured an 87-turbine wind farm in Benton County that began generating electricity earlier this year.

Clinton County’s wind farm ordinance borrows much of its content from the one that was crafted for Benton County.

“We’re picking line by line, word for word, through our ordinance,” said Curt Emanuel, president of the Clinton County Area Plan Commission.

“We’re trying to insert language and different clauses that we feel are applicable for the county. We’ll be meeting on this for a while.”

Emanuel said the committee wants language in the zoning ordinance to protect land and the property rights of landowners.

Last week, 20 Clinton County government and school officials visited the wind farm created by Orion Energy Group near Earl Park.

Jimmy Bricker, Purdue Extension director in Benton County, said implementing wind farm ordinances that closely mirror each other makes sense for neighboring counties and developers of the alternative energy.

“Now wind farms can move on both sides of a county line, seamlessly,” he said.

By Max Showalter

Journal and Courier

9 July 2008