Indiana consumer group backing planned wind farm

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A consumer advocacy group that backs a proposed central Indiana wind farm has accused the project's opponents of spreading misinformation about the electricity-generating turbines in an attempt to keep it from being built.

The Indianapolis-based Citizens Action Coalition sent a letter to the Tipton County Plan Commission last week calling the opponents' arguments off-the-wall and unsubstantiated, the Kokomo Tribune reported.

One wind farm developer last year finished building 125 turbines in Tipton County and neighboring Madison County, while some residents of Tipton and Howard counties are fighting plans by another company to put up nearly 100 more turbines.

Jeff Hoover of Tipton County Citizens for Responsible Development, a group that opposes the project, said it's time for county officials to realize how many people don't want industrial wind farms in the area about 40 miles north of Indianapolis.

"We have provided scientific and empirical data," Hoover said. "That data shows property value loss and health and safety concerns. Every group has the right to their own opinion."

Colorado-based juwi Wind is seeking approval to build about 90 turbines for the Prairie Breeze Wind Farm in a rural area northwest of Tipton. Its request includes a reduction in the county's required 1,500-foot distance between the wind farm's turbines and neighboring homes to 1,400 feet from homes on properties not involved with the project and 1,250 feet from homes on participating properties.

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.

Kerwin Olson, executive director of the Citizens Action Coalition, disputed claims that property values decrease around a wind farm and said data indicates that wind power is less expensive than electricity from a new coal-fired plant.

Olson said it isn't clear who is paying for the research cited by wind farm opponents.

"We don't doubt that there are concerns," he said. "But the claims should be backed up by scientific research and empirical data. We would question the motives of those opposed to wind energy."


  • Man, that sounded arrogant.
    I feel for the property owners in Tipton County who have a gentleman living in Indianapolis questioning their motives for opposing wind power. If Mr. Olson wants to criticize them, he should first move to the middle of a wind farm for a year and then report back -- with a straight face -- that the turbines in no way affected his quality of life.

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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.