- National Wind Watch: Wind Energy News - https://www.wind-watch.org/news -

Approved wind farm project sparks debate

Tensions were high Tuesday morning as the Palo Alto Board of Supervisors prepared to vote on the proposal for the county’s first wind farm.

Even the board was split and said it was a hard decision that has weighed on them.

“I haven’t had a full night’s sleep in the last month,”

Board members said they looked at other examples to help in the decision process.

“Every one of us, collectively or individually, have talked to surrounding counties, surrounding wind farms throughout the region and throughout the state. We’ve gotten feedback from them.” said Roger Faulstick, County Supervisor.

After lots of discussion, and final vote of 3-2, the proposal was passed.

Some say the proposal brings some major positives.

“If you have an opportunity to look at a project like this from an economic standpoint. No matter what your personal feelings are, you absolutely have to look at it for the betterment of the county’s economic health.” said Faulstick.

Others see more negatives.

A common theme was worry about the impact the turbines would have on farmland.”We feed millions of people. We are part of the economy of the world, not just here in Palo Alto County. The industrial part of this is utilizing prime, taking it out of production, land forever.” said Lois Stillman, landowner.

Another concern raised were the location and number of turbines.

“The real thing is there were way too many turbines and they are way too close to the people who live out here.” said Tom Stillman, farmer.

Opponents say they hope the board will consider looking into a compromise.

“Make an ordinance that will not impact our environment, our neighbors and place them in proper places that are not harming all of these places.” said Lois Stillman.

Until then, the turbines issue continues to charge up residents.