MILLS COUNTY, Iowa —
In Mills County, there’s no shortage of whistling wind, which MidAmerican Energy wants to harness.
“Last year, we delivered about 88% of the energy to our customers through renewable energy, mostly wind, we want to take that to 100%,” said MidAmerican’s Geoff Greenwood.
MidAmerican is proposing a wind farm in Mills and Pottawatomie Counties. If approved, they’d build some 120 to 140 wind turbines. They are presenting a formal proposal to the Mills Building and Zoning Department Tuesday.
“Education is key. and once we learn more about it, then we can make a decision about which way is best for Mills County as a whole,” said Mills Zoning Technician Holly Jackson.
However, some Mills County residents are already energized in their opposition.
“I have not heard from a single person that has wanted one of these turbines,” said Charity Duey, who lives in Silver City.
Duey isn’t willing to sacrifice her view for the energy source. She said the view is the reason she moved to Silver City.
“It’s absolutely amazing to look out across here and see this incredible land,” said Duey.
Duey and her neighbors also worry how farmers might use aerial irrigation and the impact on wildlife. To build the mills, height restrictions would have to change from 80 feet to upwards of 280 feet.
“I’m negative about it because of the aesthetics, the sounds they’re going to make,” said James Schnoor.
MidAmerican says sending the wind energy out as electricity is made easier, because a transmission line is already in place.
“This location makes a lot of sense,” said Greenwood. “These are voluntary agreements. We’re not taking land.”
MidAmerican hopes it will not be long before we know which way the wind will blow. If the project is approved, MidAmerican hopes they’d have the turbines up and running in 2024. They expect the project to provide energy for about 40 years.
The residents told KETV Newswatch 7 they do support other renewable energy efforts.
The Mills zoning commission recently passed an ordinance to allow for solar farms.
“Wind energy I really don’t think is the answer, I really don’t,” said Schnoor. “Maybe solar.”
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