PERU – A controversial proposed wind farm in Miami County is officially off the table after the company announced Tuesday it was no longer pursuing the project.
Renewable Energy Systems, an international company with U.S. headquarters in Broomfield, Colorado, had proposed bringing 75 turbines to the northern part of the county as part of a 600-megawatt wind generation development in Miami and Cass counties.
But RES said Tuesday it is no longer pursuing the project and will take action to withdrawal the proposal immediately.
“Technical circumstances for the project have changed unfavorably, making the project no longer feasible,” the company said in a statement.
Scott Jansen, RES project manager, commented on the withdrawal in the announcement.
“After a careful review of several factors, RES has decided to withdraw from the Harvest Wind project,” Jansen said. “We have enjoyed working with the local communities in Cass and Miami counties and want to thank all the landowners, farmers and supporters of the Harvest Wind project.”
Most Miami County officials believed the project was dead in July after a new wind ordinance took affect requiring a 2,000-foot setback of turbines from property lines.
The company also said it elected not to sign road and economic-development agreements with the county due to technical challenges associated with interconnecting the project with the electric grid.
Still, RES at the time said the wind farm was only “on hold.”
The announcement Tuesday brought an official end to the project, which had drawn fierce pushback from opponents and led one resident to sue the county after the proposal became public last year.
That pushback led the Miami County Planning Commission in April to amend the county’s wind farm ordinance and double the setback requirement for wind turbines to 2,000 feet from property lines, roads, public lands and city limits.
Becky Mahoney, an outspoken resident who opposed the project, had in a previous meeting presented the commission with almost 900 signatures from area residents requesting a turbine setback of 2,640 from property lines.
A study by Indianapolis-based consulting firm Umbaugh said the wind project was projected to bring an estimated $340 million investment to the county that would likely generate around $7.7 million in new revenue over 11 years, and even more after that.
That would also lead to lower property taxes, especially in Allen, Perry, Richland and Union townships, where the project would be built, the study said.
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