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

Year in Review: Wind farm proposals stir up turbulence

Montgomery County became the latest battleground over wind energy this year.

Plans are underway for two wind farms that would power homes on thousands of acres north of Crawfordsville.

Sugar Creek LLC has eyed Madison and Sugar Creek townships for one of the farms. The two-phase project has buy-in with more than 60 landowners in the area, according to the company’s website. Developers were in final negotiations with a turbine supplier.

The other farm, Roaming Wind Bison, is in works across parts of Coal Creek, Madison and North Union townships. Developer Apex Clean Energy plans to begin construction in 2020.

Proponents say the projects would help control electric bills, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and generate jobs.

Nearby residents argue the turbines are a health hazard and will drive down property values. Opponents formed a group called No Wind Farm Montgomery County to speak out against the projects.

Members submitted petitions to county officials and protested at an informational open house. The group holds monthly meetings.

Apex points to multiple studies that show modern wind turbines pose no threat to public health. A separate study by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory analyzing more than 51,000 home sales found wind farms had no impact on sale prices.

The debate prompted county commissioners to take a second look at the county’s wind energy ordinance. An amendment was proposed to lower the maximum noise to 30 decibels from 60 decibels.

Commissioners did not vote on the measure before year’s end.