[ exact phrase in "" • results by date ]

[ Google-powered • results by relevance ]


Add NWW headlines to your site (click here)

Get weekly updates

when your community is targeted


RSS feeds and more

Keep Wind Watch online and independent!

Donate via Stripe

Donate via Paypal

Selected Documents

All Documents

Research Links


Press Releases


Campaign Material

Photos & Graphics


Allied Groups

Wind Watch is a registered educational charity, founded in 2005.

News Watch Home

Black Hawk County’s first wind towers rejected 

Credit:  By Tim Jamison | Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier | August 26, 2015 | wcfcourier.com ~~

WATERLOO | Heavy opposition and the Board of Adjustment have knocked the air out of Black Hawk County’s first proposed wind energy farm.

Board members voted 5-0 Tuesday to request a special permit and setback variance for Optimum Renewables to erect three 444-foot-tall industrial wind turbines in the far northeast corner of the county.

The decision drew applause from approximately 50 people who turned out to oppose the project, which had previously been turned down in both Fayette and Buchanan counties.

“We’re not opposed to progress, innovation or energy efficiency,” said Kris Klingaman of Fairbank. “We are opposed, however, to this particular project because it does not bring one single benefit to our community or the people in it.”

Jane Albright Lee, whose family farms near the proposed site, said wind farms that have been cropping up across the state are a threat to agriculture.

“It’s going to come at a steep price for the neighboring farmland, if wind turbines continue to sprout up across America’s best agriculture land,” she said. “I hope you consider that agriculture is what Iowa is.”

Black Hawk County does not have any industrial grade wind turbines. But the county ordinance was amended in 2011 to encourage wind towers, provided they meet a set of standards and get a special permit from the Board of Adjustment.

“It’s a very restrictive ordinance,” said Adam Van Dike, attorney for Optimum Renewables. “Frankly, it’s the most restrictive we’ve seen in the state. We didn’t shy away from that. We still want to come to Black Hawk County.”

The three turbines were proposed to take two acres of prime agricultural land out of production on the David and Carolyn Schmitz farm on the Black Hawk County side of the Black Hawk-Buchanan county line road, just north of Buck Creek Road.

The six megawatts of electricity would have been trenched underground along roadside and railroad right-of-way to an Alliant Energy substation at the Flint Hills Resources ethanol plant, just east of Fairbank.

Opponents voiced concerns about the impact on crop dusters; potential danger to eagles, other wildlife and livestock; possible negative health affects on humans; and reduced property values.

Van Dike said there is no evidence of any health issues for humans or livestock, while the threat to eagles and birds was overstated.

“There is a possibility birds will run into these and die,” he said. “But it’s not an epidemic.”

Van Dike also said the project would generate $2.3 million in property taxes over 30 years, including $1.2 million for the Wapsie Valley School District.

Members of the Board of Adjustment had only a brief discussion on the merits of the request but cited concerns the southern tower was just 50 feet from the neighboring property, when it should have been 666 feet away by ordinance.

“I assume those fall zones exist for a reason,” said board member Luke Jenson.

The property owner to the south, the son of the land owners seeking the tower, had supported a variance to the required setback.

Board chairman Steve Rosauer joined those who said there appeared to be no benefit to the area or residents from the project. He suggested tax credits would be necessary for the project to be viable.

“In a sense we’re all paying for it for a few people to benefit from it,” he said.

The Iowa Wind Energy Association reports there are 3,198 utility scale wind turbines in operation in the state, heavily concentrated in northwest Iowa.

Source:  By Tim Jamison | Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier | August 26, 2015 | wcfcourier.com

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial educational effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding
   Donate via Stripe
(via Stripe)
Donate via Paypal
(via Paypal)


e-mail X FB LI M TG TS G Share

Tag: Victories

News Watch Home

Get the Facts
© National Wind Watch, Inc.
Use of copyrighted material adheres to Fair Use.
"Wind Watch" is a registered trademark.


Wind Watch on X Wind Watch on Facebook Wind Watch on Linked In

Wind Watch on Mastodon Wind Watch on Truth Social

Wind Watch on Gab Wind Watch on Bluesky