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More wind turbines on tap

It will be another summer of wind turbine construction in Marshall County.

The Vienna Township wind farm project, southwest of Gladbrook, will soon get underway in the northeastern portion of Marshall County. The project will include 20 to 25 turbines in Marshall County with 20 to 25 in Tama County.

The turbines will be 2.3 megawatts and will be the same size structures that were put in place in the Laurel area last summer.

Site work is expected to begin in the spring with heavy construction work during the summer and fall. The project will run just south of Highway 96 so motorists along the road will soon be seeing activity.

“It should be on line and making electricity before the end of the calendar year,” said Kirk Kraft, of RPM Access, which is the same wind turbine development company that worked on the Laurel project. “MidAmerican Energy owns both projects and they are using the exact same Siemens wind turbines.”

Kraft said the agreements with the landowners went smoothly and they are all set.

“Not every landowner wants to be a part of it, but we found more than enough landowners who do want to be a part of it,” Kraft said.

With wind farms operating on the county’s southern edge near Laurel and western edge near State Center, and another set planned for the northeastern edge of the county, the question is how much is too much?

Marshall County Board of Supervisors Chairman Denny Grabenbauer said another wind farm proposal would be met with some scrutiny, though he said they are always willing to look at proposals.

“If they were to come to us on another location, we would have to look at it very strongly,” Grabenbauer said.

The Vienna wind farm will have the same tax abatement program as per the state ordinance, but taxes will flow into the county eventually.

“Down the road, it’s going to help the economy of our county,” Grabenbauer said.