MUNCIE – The wind energy committee of the Delaware-Muncie Metropolitan Plan Commission will conduct a meeting to get public reaction to proposed regulations of wind farms.
The meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. March 26 at the Farm Bureau Insurance building at 6100 N. Ind. 67.
“The current draft regulations will be presented at the meeting, and the (committee) members would like to hear comments, concerns, support and suggestions on revisions and/or additional regulations, said Marta Moody, director of the commisson.
After the meeting, the committee plans to present the proposed regulations to the commission, which will conduct a public hearing. No date has been set yet for the public hearing.
After the public hearing, the commission would forward a recommendation to the county commissioners, who have final jurisdiction over the regulations.
Property owners in eastern Delaware County have been leasing their land for a potential wind farm, according to Moody.
Delaware County Commissioner Larry Bledsoe has identified the potential developer as E.ON Climate & Renewables North America, which already has built the Wildcat 1 Wind Farm in neighboring Madison County as well as in Tipton County.
“I haven’t heard anything but rumors,” said Joe Russell, vice president of Delaware County Farm Bureau. “No one really knows what’s going on. “They’re supposedly doing research with test towers to check the numbers on the wind (speed). The companies I think are keeping their cards pretty close to the vest right now.”
Moody told The Star Press the area under consideration for development is Delaware and Liberty townships, which include Albany, DeSoto, Selma and the eastern edge of Muncie.
E.ON couldn’t be reached for comment for this article.
The elements of a wind farm ordinance typically include appearance, clearance, height, lighting, noise standards, setbacks to create space between wind turbines and houses and roads, decommissioning and site restoration, spacing and density of wind turbines and shadow flicker, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
Shadow flicker refers to shadows cast on the ground and surrounding structures by rotating wind turbine blades. Ordinances can mitigate or prevent shadow flicker on roadways or occupied buildings on non-participating properties.
Wildcat 1 Wind Farm was E.ON’s first wind energy project in Indiana. One hundred twenty-five GE 1.6 megawatt turbines provide more than 200 megawatts of power – enough to generate clean power to more than 60,000 households – at Wildcat 1.
Under a 20-year power purchase agreement, Indiana Michigan Power will purchase 100 MW of wind power from Wildcat 1.
E.ON has invested more than $4 billion dollars in the U.S. in the last four years, creating more than 4,000 construction jobs and another 200 permanent jobs to keep its wind farms up and running.
Overall, the wind industry has invested more than $60 billion in providing 35 percent of all the new generating capacity in the U.S. in the last four years and employs more than 75,000 people, including 30,000 in jobs in the manufacturing sector from coast to coast, according to E.ON.
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