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Wind turbines planned for Fairbank area

FAIRBANK | Mason Wind LLC hopes to bring three wind turbines to rural Fairbank supplying energy that will be used exclusively by the Flint Hills Resources ethanol plant and rural residents of the area.

Kurt Sherer, told Fayette County Supervisors Monday part of the economic impact will result in estimated property tax of $1.49 million paid to Fayette County over the first 20 years, and $2.4 million in 30 years.

Sherer is vice president of Goodwind Energy, of which Mason Wind is a subsidiary. He said the company will seek permit approval from the Fayette County Planning & Zoning board at its May 19 meeting.

Energy would not only be generated locally but consumed locally. Anything not used by the ethanol plant a mile east of Fairbank would be distributed to rural residences to the northeast.

If the permit is approved, construction would begin yet this year. Total installed cost of the 445-foot turbines is $11 million to $12 million. All three turbines would be located on one property, owned privately.

Supervisor Jeanine Tellin said she views wind as a clean, renewable and positive source of energy.

“Obviously Fayette County has wind speeds adequate for this kind of energy,” pointed out Karsen Rumpf, in reference to a 16-turbine project located near Hawkeye, also in Fayette County. Rumpf is with Optimum Renewables, also part of Mason Wind.

In response to concerns about potential noise, Rumpf said the output of sound is negligible as compared with that of the railroad that serves the ethanol plant. β€œIt’s about equal to the sound of a refrigerator running,” added Sherer.

Tellin said one concern the board of supervisors has relates to wear and tear on the area roads during construction. Sherer said Mason Wind LLC would inspect the roads involved before and after the project and post a road bond to cover any damages.

Rumpf told the board there are 3,200 wind turbines now operational in Iowa. Goodwind Energy has 14 turbines on-line in the state.