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Developer pushing central Indiana wind farm plans

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A developer has slightly scaled back plans for a central Indiana wind farm as the company tries to win approval from county officials for the estimated $300 million project.

Developer juwi Wind has asked a Tipton County zoning board to reduce the 1,500-foot distance required between the wind farm's turbines and neighboring properties. The company wants the distance minimums approved in March cut to 1,400 feet from properties not involved with the project and 1,250 feet from participating properties, the Kokomo Tribune reported Tuesday.

The Colorado-based company had proposed building up to 94 electricity-generating turbines for the Prairie Breeze Wind Farm in a rural area northwest of Tipton. Its new request proposes building 88 turbines.

"The Board of Zoning Appeals was clear in its direction to juwi Wind when it approved the Prairie Breeze Wind Farm," said Matt Heck, the company's project manager.

Jeff Hoover of Tipton County Citizens for Responsible Development said the group's members will discuss the company's proposal.

"We hope the BZA will maintain the 1,500-foot setback," Hoover said.

Another company also is building a large wind farm in the area about 40 miles north of Indianapolis.

Construction finished late last year on 125 turbines in eastern Tipton County and northern Madison County for the Wildcat Wind Farm developed by E.ON Climate and Renewables of Chicago. Nearly 200 more turbines are planned in neighboring Howard and Grant counties in later phases.

Juwi Wind also submitted a property value guarantee plan that will cover residential property within three-quarters of a mile of a wind turbine.

Values will be determined by an appraisal or the average of more than one appraisal and the guarantee only covers a difference greater than 10 percent between the value and a sale price. The plan sets the company's total liability for the property value guarantee at $1 million.

Heck said the company submitted the revised plan because it is committed to building the wind farm in Tipton County.

"The request for modifications strikes a balance allowing the project to move forward, while responding to the BZA and citizens' input and feedback," Heck said.

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  1. How much you wanna bet, that 70% of the jobs created there (after construction) are minimum wage? And Harvey is correct, the vast majority of residents in this project will drive to their jobs, and to think otherwise, is like Harvey says, a pipe dream. Someone working at a restaurant or retail store will not be able to afford living there. What ever happened to people who wanted to build buildings, paying for it themselves? Not a fan of these tax deals.

  2. Uh, no GeorgeP. The project is supposed to bring on 1,000 jobs and those people along with the people that will be living in the new residential will be driving to their jobs. The walkable stuff is a pipe dream. Besides, walkable is defined as having all daily necessities within 1/2 mile. That's not the case here. Never will be.

  3. Brad is on to something there. The merger of the Formula E and IndyCar Series would give IndyCar access to International markets and Formula E access the Indianapolis 500, not to mention some other events in the USA. Maybe after 2016 but before the new Dallara is rolled out for 2018. This give IndyCar two more seasons to run the DW12 and Formula E to get charged up, pun intended. Then shock the racing world, pun intended, but making the 101st Indianapolis 500 a stellar, groundbreaking event: The first all-electric Indy 500, and use that platform to promote the future of the sport.

  4. No, HarveyF, the exact opposite. Greater density and closeness to retail and everyday necessities reduces traffic. When one has to drive miles for necessities, all those cars are on the roads for many miles. When reasonable density is built, low rise in this case, in the middle of a thriving retail area, one has to drive far less, actually reducing the number of cars on the road.

  5. The Indy Star announced today the appointment of a new Beverage Reporter! So instead of insightful reports on Indy pro sports and Indiana college teams, you now get to read stories about the 432nd new brewery open or some obscure Hoosier winery winning a county fair blue ribbon. Yep, that's the coverage we Star readers crave. Not.

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