Already home to close to 200 wind turbines, supervisors in Palo Alto County considered a change to the county’s Wind Conversion System Ordinance.
Vestas Wind Systems is looking to build around 50 additional turbines near Lost Island Lake near Ruthven.
At the end of what was the third of three public hearings, supervisors voted 5-0 to establish setbacks, allowing the project to move forward.
In part, the ordinance requires a half-mile setback for any turbine built near Lost Island Lake, homes, or cemeteries.
“I don’t think it makes any difference, there will be some that are happy and that are not because there are some that what it and some that don’t,” said Supervisors Chairman Keith Wirtz. “We try to stay in the middle to make an ordinance that is fair to both sides as much as we can. That’s the best we can do. That’s all the supervisors are responsible for is the ordinance, the rest is up to the people.”
Carla Larson is among those who opposed the ordinance change. She told us setback guidelines need to be established at the very least, but she said the expansion of wind turbines in the county is bad for many reasons.
“Especially it being a big conservation area and lots of hunters and just recreation period. Ducks Unlimited has said that if they put one turbine up, they’re pulling out and won’t spend any more money in the county,” said Larson.
Vestas North America is a subsidiary of a Danish company and the world’s largest manufacturer of wind turbines. The newest turbines would reach 600 feet into the air.
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