Wind turbines common in northern and western Iowa may soon come to southern Iowa.
Property owners had a meeting in February in Moulton, as well as other areas within the potential project. The project as of July remains in a feasibility study period.
Wind and environmental studies are ongoing. Tradewind Energy, Inc., based in Lenexa, Kansas, is also meeting with landowners to negotiate leasing land for the proposed wind farm.
Nick Schuler, development manager with Tradewind Energy, Inc., says there has been strong support for the project. In fact, the initial meeting in February was organized by landowners, he said.
Assuming things go as planned, the wind farm would include land in southwestern Davis County, southeastern Appanoose County and northern Schuyler County.
Many details are still pending, though. For instance, the amount of energy expected – though the project would be limited to 300 megawatts – and the number of turbines. Dates for construction and completion have not yet been determined.
Years ago, this area wasn’t deemed suitable for a wind energy project. Schuler says things have changed, citing advancements in turbine technology.
If the project proceeds into the construction phase, Tradewind Energy, Inc. will fund the project, along with any partners it may gather. There are potential tax credits the project could qualify for.
Wind farms typically are situated on other kinds of farms. Each turbine typically takes up about an acre of space, Schuler said.
“Each turbine will have a base above-ground that is roughly 18 feet in diameter,” he described. “There is a well-maintained gravel access road and a gravel area around the base of that turbine. Altogether this equals roughly an acre of land. Most farmers will farm as close to the gravel as they can get and use the access roads on a regular basis.”
Schuler said his company recently met with the Davis County Board of Supervisors. They intend to soon meet with the Appanoose County Board of Supervisors.
According to the American Wind Energy Association, the closest wind farm are the 80 turbines in northern Mahaska County. There are 51 turbines in Macksburg, Iowa, located in Madison County as the second-closest location.
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