In Madison County, there is something popping up in the fields along with this year’s corn crop. Wind turbines are being planted across 81 square acres in Madison and Tipton Counties.
“At the end of the day, they can show it to their parents, their kids, their grandkids,” said Project Manager Ron Ritter. “It will be a monument to construction for years to come.”
E.ON Energy is building a total of 125 turbines. A total of 56 will be in Madison County and 69 will be in Tipton County. The new turbines will join others already spinning in Benton County. The power generated by the turbines will go to Indiana Michigan Power Company Customers. In July, more sections will be brought in and the turbines will begin to stretch upward, to around 300 feet.
But not everyone is excited about the changes to this part of the heartland.
“I just enjoy the peace and quiet,” said David Johnston.
David Johnston has lived in a rural Elwood house for 12 years. He likes the peace and quiet, but now that the wind farm is moving in, he and his family are moving out.
“I am going to have flashing red lights at night and one of the things I really enjoy is sitting out by the fire pit out back and looking at the stars and that will take away from that enjoyment so I decided to leave,” said Johnston.
Johnston does not own enough land to sell it to E.ON and so instead, he is selling his home. Ritter said wind farms have been shown to do more good than bad, though.
“The money that this project will infuse into this community in the way of tax dollars is tremendous, in lots of ways,” said Ritter.
Johnston said he does not blame the power company, he just does not want to be apart of it.
Officials from E.ON said they are making an investment in Madison and Tipton Counties to the tune of $400 million. As for Johnston, he said there has not been one prospective buyer who has looked at his house.