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Proposal would put wind turbines on North Alabama mountain ranges

Some wind turbines are stirring-up controversy in North Alabama, which could first foray into harnessing wind energy.

A proposal would put 35 to 40 wind turbines on two mountain ridges in Jackson and Madison counties.

But there are some concerns.

“Everything we do to generate power has its pluses and minuses. And so I believe that we need to evaluate those carefully,” says Horace Clemmons, who’s planning to lease land to NextEra Energy.

A proposal could put in wind turbines in parts of Jackson and Madison counties.

“The NextEra people contacted me probably about 3 months ago with some preliminary information about wanting to put windmills on the ridgeline on Bingham and Sharp Mountain,” says Clemmons.

Documents obtained by WAAY 31 show NextEra Energy is looking to add the turbines in the area.

They’re working to get 5200 acres to place 35-40 turbines.

“That’s part of what we have to look at, we have to look at the advantages, so today we have this power grid that’s susceptible to failure, susceptible to terrorist attacks,” Clemmons says.

But there are some concerns.

In the documents, it shows NextEra Energy is concerned about the Sharp-Bingham Mountain Preserve, and some federally protected species that call the area home.

“The biggest objection that I have heard coming from this is that this land is mostly recreational land, and it’s very much part of an ecosystem where there are some rare and endangered critters. So those are the objections that we have to answer. Can we still use them for the same recreational benefits that they had, and are we further endangering some already endangered critters,” Clemmons says.

And some are concerned it could detract from the views of the mountains.

“It’ll be different to look at. They will show up here more than they do in the desert in California. But it’ll be interesting,” says Marti Stone, a resident.

We reached out to NextEra Energy for comment, but never heard back from the company.

There’s no word on when the project would begin.