Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Local News

July 3, 2013

County mulls wind ordinance changes

Howard County commissioner says 'Everything is on the table'

There could be changes coming to the Howard County ordinance that regulates the placement of wind turbines.

The Howard County Commissioners announced Monday they will make a recommendation at the July 15 meeting for the plan commission to consider revisions to the wind ordinance.

E.ON Climate & Renewables plans to construct three phases of the Wildcat Wind Farm in eastern Howard County with work possibly beginning later this year. To date, the company has not requested any improvement location permits.

Phase 2 will be located in Grant and Howard counties and is expected to generate 100 megawatts of electricity. Phases 3 and 4 will be located between Greentown and Converse and in the Windfall area, generating up to 800 megawatts of electricity, which will be tapped into the grid at a power substation south of Greentown.

A megawatt provides electrical energy to about 1,000 homes.

The first phase of the project involved the construction of 125 wind turbines in Tipton and Madison counties and started generating electrical energy in December.

Tyler Moore, president of the Board of County Commissioners, said Tuesday the intent is to pass a resolution asking the plan commission to draft an amendment to the wind ordinance and set a public hearing.

Moore said the recommendation will consider setbacks to neighboring properties for the placement of turbines, noise levels and permitted uses.

In Howard County, wind farms are allowed in most areas with the only requirement being approval of location improvement permits for each turbine.

“Everything is on the table,” Moore said. “We are taking into consideration the comments from opponents, leaseholders and working with E.ON.”

Moore said the county has not received a map from E.ON of where exactly the wind turbines would be located.

Commissioner Paul Wyman agreed more than one of the parameters set in the current wind ordinance is under consideration.

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