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Wind farm company files for zoning exception

TIPTON – The company looking to build a wind farm that could span four Indiana counties has filed the necessary paperwork seeking a special exception in Tipton County.

E-on Climate & Renewables filed the necessary documents with the Tipton County Planning Commission for a special exception in Madison and Wildcat townships.

The public hearing on the special exception request is set for 7 p.m. Aug. 22 at the Tipton County 4-H Fairgrounds community building.

The first phase of E-on’s Wildcat Wind Farm will see turbines placed in Tipton and Madison counties. Eventually the project is expected to include wind turbines in Grant and Howard counties.

Matt Tullis, communications manager for E-on, said the special exception is the first step in the zoning process. The company still has to obtain building permits, he said.

“We still hope to start construction by the end of the year,” Tullis said.

According to paperwork filed with Tipton County, the project’s first phase encompasses 15,400 acres, with half in Tipton County and half in Madison County.

The company paid a $20,000 fee with the filing for the special exception, which is placed in the Tipton County general fund.

The plans are for 125 wind turbines in Tipton County. The entire first phase of the project will generate 200 megawatts of electricity.

The company plans to create 150 jobs during construction and four to six permanent full-time jobs when completed.

According to the document, the wind farm is anticipated to generate $6 million in property taxes over a 15-year period. The Tipton and Tri-Central school systems can expect to receive $3.2 million, and the county $1.2 million over that time span.

The Tipton County Council in June approved a 10-year tax abatement for the wind farm project.

E-on also signed an agreement with Tipton County to provide $1.2 million over three years as part of an economic development agreement.

A road agreement also was signed for the upgrade of county roads that will be used during the construction phase of the project.