County to hear another wind application permit; West Fork Wind seeks transmission line in Rush County
RUSHVILLE – Roughly nine months after their decision effectively hampering a proposed wind farm project in Rush County, the Rush County Board of Zoning Appeals will again decide on a permit application from the company working on that project.
The Rush County BZA, on Tuesday at 6 p.m. at the Rush County Courthouse, will weigh in on a special exception permit from West Fork Wind LLC., also known as NextEra Energy Resources, for a transmission line for the West Fork Wind Energy Center project.
Per the application filed by West Fork Wind LLC., with the Rush County BZA, the transmission line would stretch east to west to the Fayette County line, and include power poles ranging in height from 90 feet to a maximum of 130 feet.
In addition, the application for the special exception would seek a switchyard at the property located at 430 North to approximately 700 East in Rush County.
The special exception application comes at a time when the Rush County BZA and West Fork Wind LLC. – NextEra Energy Resources – find themselves in an ongoing legal battle, stemming from a December 2016 decision in which the BZA voted unanimously to deny special exception permits for the construction of more than 20 industrial wind turbines within the county, as part of the three-county West Fork Wind Energy Center project stretching across Henry and Fayette counties.
NextEra had been seeking a special exception for the construction of the more than 20 wind turbines, with a height of roughly 500 feet and a setback distance, from non-participating property owners, of 1,500 feet.
Not only did were those special exception applications denied by the BZA, they added their own requirements for setback distance and turbine height for future special exception applications NextEra might submit.
The BZA announced that any wind turbines constructed by NextEra, in Rush County, must adhere to a 2,640-foot setback from non-participating landowners, in addition to be 200 feet or less in height.
The setback distance instituted by the BZA for NextEra is consistent with the setback distance instituted on Apex Clean Energy and the wind turbines in their proposed Flat Rock Wind project, which the BZA ruled on last year. That setback distance was established at 2,300 feet, a decision upheld by the Rush County courts when challenged by Apex Clean Energy and later upheld by the state’s Court of Appeals.
The current legal battle between the Rush County BZA and West Fork Wind LLC., is still ongoing.
Tuesday’s meeting is open to the public, with plans for the transmission line and switching station available at the Rush County Area Plan Commission office.
West Fork Wind Energy Center special exception permit meeting
When: Tuesday, 6 p.m.
Where: Assembly Room, Rush County Courthouse, Rushville
Open to the public
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