Wind Power News: Iowa
These news and opinion items are gathered by National Wind Watch to help keep readers informed about developments related to industrial wind energy. They are the products of the organizations or individuals noted and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of National Wind Watch.
Madison utility Madison Gas and Electric said Tuesday that it plans to build a $107 million, 66-megawatt wind farm in Howard County, Iowa, that would become the company’s largest wind farm to date. The project, known as Saratoga, will consist of 33-turbines on a 10-square-mile site about 200 miles west of Madison. The site is well situated because of its strong winds and proximity to transmission infrastructure, according to a press release from the utility, which is a subsidiary of . . .
Trespass zoning gives one neighbor the right to infringe on their neighbor’s property. Industrial wind energy installations are an example of trespass zoning. In Palo Alto and Kossuth Counties, Supervisors wrote ordinances that allows a landowner to erect a wind turbine as close as 330 feet from their neighbor’s property line and 600 feet from public roadways. GE, a company that manufactures wind turbines, states that the ice throw zone for a wind turbine is 1.5 x (hub height + . . .
IDA GROVE, Iowa | Mason and Diane Fleenor’s log home in rural Ida County features a wraparound porch that leads to a spacious patio overlooking a pond. “We built this to entertain when it’s nice out,” Mason Fleenor said of the patio. “But it’s hard when we have 40 (wind turbines) to the east and six to the west.” Part of a 134-turbine wind farm that MidAmerican Energy Co. completed in December, Fleenor said the whirling blades and flashing air . . .
Iowa landowners are being presented with a proposal for signing or not signing a wind turbine leasement (a combination of a lease and an easement). We see different levels of interest – from Royal, Iowa, in Clay County where so few people would sign that the wind companies had to move on, to Palo Alto County where the wind companies have signed 100 easements. We see that half of these easements were signed by absentee landowners and at least one-fourth . . .
KWWL continues to look into the possibility of a wind farm in southern Black Hawk County. Recently, KWWL spoke with area residents who have concerns. Thursday, KWWL visited a wind farm in Hawkeye that is owned by the company looking to build in Black Hawk County. RPM Access of De Soto, Iowa has been in the wind energy business for nearly 20 years and has multiple farms in Eastern Iowa. Under RPM Access, dozens of turbines have been producing wind . . .
Recent rumblings in the wind energy field have caused the Clay County Board of Supervisors to take another look at local zoning ordinances associated with wind turbines. Specifically, the board reexamined the setback requirements for the turbines. “Our zoning ordinances say the setback has to be 110 percent of the total height,” Clay County Zoning Director Tammy McKeever explained. “The philosophy behind that is, if it were ever to fall, it wouldn’t fall on anybody else’s property and it wouldn’t . . .
Iowa is a leader in the wind energy industry, yet Black Hawk County has denied past proposals from companies looking to bring the industry here. Now, another company is proposing a wind farm in southern Black Hawk County. RPM Access of De Soto, Iowa has several wind farms throughout the state and is now working on plans to put between 30 and 40 wind turbines south of Waterloo. Southern Black Hawk County, rooted in agriculture, where people’s closest neighbors are . . .
With things rolling along for Iowa County’s wind turbine project and response being generally positive, the project is about to enter a new phase. Mark Zaccone, representing Invenergy, told the Iowa County Board of Supervisors Friday, Jan. 27, that this phase calls for the company to slow down on generating land and to begin long-term studies. These include engineering and transmission studies, as well as marketing the project. In doing so, Invenergy will be pulling its Iowa County land agents, . . .
WATERLOO – The wind energy industry is colliding with a mixed bag of zoning laws as it seeks to erect hundreds of new turbines across Iowa’s rural countryside. Without a uniform state law governing location, height, setbacks and other factors, many of the state’s 99 counties have adopted individual zoning standards that will play a key role in where those turbines go. The Courier examined how several Northeast Iowa counties regulate commercial wind energy projects after RPM Access said it would . . .
FAIRBANK – The Iowa Supreme Court has been asked to intervene in an ongoing dispute over three wind energy towers in Fayette County. Attorneys for Mason Wind and Optimum Renewables turned to the state’s high court this month after a district court judge deemed three turbines in a farm field just east of Fairbank are “illegal and void” and must be removed. As Iowa’s wind energy industry gears up for a major expansion over the next three years, this high-stakes legal . . .