TIPTON – A wind farm is one step closer to reality in Tipton County, as the final required agreements are now in place.
E-on Climate & Renewables is now cleared to apply for building permits in October for the Wildcat Wind Farm, said Steve Edson, director of the Tipton County Planning Department.
Though all hurdles have been cleared with the county, E-on is not prepared yet to move forward.
Andy Melka, project manager for E-on, said the company still has some internal steps to take before it requests building permits in Tipton County. Those steps, Melka said, include hiring a construction company and deciding on which wind turbines to use for the project.
Monday, company officials and county commissioners approved road and decommissioning agreements. The two agreements were a stipulation of the Tipton County Board of Zoning Appeals’ approval for a special-use exception allowing the company to build 80 wind turbines.
Larry Whitesell, highway superintendent, said he has reviewed a list of all roads the company plans to upgrade during construction of the wind farm, which covers approximately 31 miles of county roads.
As for the decommissioning agreement, Melka said the terms are covered in Tipton County’s wind farm ordinance.
When the wind farm is no longer in operation, Melka explained, the agreement calls for the underground cables connecting the wind turbines to the electrical power substation to remain in place.
He said some area farmers may request access roads remain in place, and the company will remove all infrastructure for the wind turbines to a depth of 4 feet as required in the agreement.
Melka said the cost of dismantling the turbines will be covered in the salvage value of the equipment, and the county will be provided with a bank line of credit when the dismantling of the wind farm is set to proceed.
Melka said Monday a special-use exception also has been approved in Madison County.
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