MUNCIE, IN – Delaware County Commissioners won’t impose a moratorium on wind farms before E-ON secures tax credits or local government imposes rules for the renewable energy development.
James Rybarczyk, a Ball State University chemistry professor, encouraged commissioners on Monday to stop any wind farm development until more information and exact details are known about a proposed $200 million wind turbine development begins near DeSoto.
That moratorium would protect the health and safety of citizens as the projects seems to be moving ahead without any government intervention.
During a Metropolitan Plan Commission hearing last week, county government offered rules for setback, noise and other standards for wind farms, but there was little detail about E-ON, a worldwide German owned renewal energy company, doing wind studies, leasing land and even seeking tax credit for a development in Delaware County. E-ON build a similar operation in Madison and Tipton counties called Wildcat 1 that supplies renewable energy to Indiana Michigan Power.
Rybarczrk said the project was accelerating with little knowledge or accountability and he hoped the commissioners would slow down the development.
Commissioner President Larry Bledsoe, who imposed moratoriums on Confined Animal Feeding Operations, was not in favor of a moratorium on wind turbines.
That action would be premature before the plan commission, which he also is a member, decided on rules for them., Bledsoe explained.
Bledsoe explained it had been been no secret that E-ON had been looking at Delaware and Randolph counties for wind energy and there was nothing for government to do until some rules were in place.
Rybarczrk had said other counties like Marshall at Plymouth, were imposing a moratorium for wind farms, and he believed the county should wait until rules were in place.
Commissioner James King, also Daleville marshall, was not interested in stopping wind farm development, and commissioner Sherry Riggin recently has been the most supportive of the development and the jobs it will bring.
Another resident indicated the county should impose World Health Organization standards for wind farms like a mile setback with more restrictive noise levels. And they were supportive of the economic development and renewable energy the project would bring.
Bledsoe believed the plan commission should consider Rybarczrk’s request, since it was the advisor on rules for the renewable energy. The commission heard testimony last week, and continued action on winds farms.
The plan commission will meet in June to continue discussion on rules and Delaware County Council could meet later this month to handle tax credits for the farm