August 26, 2015

Townships receive proposed limits for wind farms

By Larry Peirce | The Banner-Press August 25, 2015 |

Companies with intentions of building wind turbine farms in Butler County may face tougher restrictions that are proposed at the township level.

In advance of their annual meetings, the township boards of of Linwood, Franklin, Oak Creek and Skull Creek townships, all in eastern Butler County have been asked to place the regulations on their upcoming meeting agendas. In each township, a local registered voter has brought the regulations up for consideration in an effort that has been led by the Bohemian Alps Wind Watchers.

Bruce Bostelman, one of the members of BAWW, said the proposals have been delivered to township officials. He provided copies to The Banner-Press.

Those who don’t live in the country may not be familiar with how township policy is made. Instead of the township board voting on policies, the decisions are made by a majority vote of a township’s registered voters during township meeting.

Bostelman and John Stanner have attended monthly meetings of the Butler County Board of Supervisors, but since the county does not have a comprehensive plan or countywide zoning, there are no county rules which would place restrictions on the development of towers.

The proposed regulations, according to the drafters, is to ensure the safety of “persons and property” in the township.

The regulations seek to ban the high-voltage power lines of the wind farms from being placed under township roads, and they also include proposals for greater setbacks from the property lines of non-participating property owners and also from the township roads.

Regulations also would be in place requiring compliance with federal aviation rules, strobe lighting,

The BAWW was formed last spring the efforts became known about NextEra Energy, a…. company that wants to build a wind turbine network of up to 112 turbines turbines to generate up to 200 megawatts of electricity – enough to power 40,000 homes.


The regulations:

Prohibiting the placement of a high voltage (greather than 480 volts) power line under the town property, including town roads, right-of-ways, and ditches within the Town of Linwood.

Each turbine will be no less than 1,640 feet from any property line of an owner not associated with the project. Each turbine will be no less than 1,640 feet from any town road.

The regulations also limit the amount of noise a turbine can generate between the hours of 7 a.m. and 10 p.m., and lower limits for the period between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m..

The turbines also must meet federal aviation requirements, including lighting and interference issues. Strobe lighting should be avoided if alternative lighting is allowed.

The distance between tower support bases must be spaced a minimum of five rotor diameters distance figured by the size of the largest rotor.

Each tower would have a decommissioning plan outlining the means, procedures and cost of removing the turbines and all related supporting infrastructure and a bond or equivalent

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