Plans are under way to construct a 200-megawatt wind farm in northwest Iowa’s Plymouth County.
A Chicago based company, Invenergy, is currently seeking easements from landowners. Plymouth County Zoning Administrator Alan Lucken says the plan calls for between 80 and 88 wind generator turbines all which would be located in the eastern townships of Plymouth County. The company needs to secure all of the landowner easements, and then meet with Plymouth County Board of Adjustment. That meeting would be a time for public input.
“There would be about 17 stakeholders invited to the meeting…the Board of Adjustment will make the decision whether or not to grant them the conditional use permit, so that they could go ahead and build the wind farm,” Lucken says. Lucken says there are opinions on both sides.
“Some are extremely excited – you know because the payments are good,” Lucken says.
He says landowners could earn as much as $15,000 dollars in payments to for each windmill turbine on their property. There also those who are not in favor of the proposed project. “There’s basically three reasons why people don’t want them,” according to Lucken. “Number one: there’s some noise involved. Number two:they have to farm around it. And number three, they don’t like the looks of them.”
There is presently only one wind turbine generator located at Plymouth County. It is situated near Akron, but Lucken says it hasn’t worked for several years. The proposed windmill turbines would stand 500 feet tall.
(By Dennis Morrice, KLEM, LeMars)
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