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Tipton County approves $300M wind farm, with limits

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A central Indiana county has given the go-ahead to a proposed $300 million wind farm while also approving restrictions that address concerns about the project's impact on property values.

The Tipton County Board of Zoning Appeals approved a conditional use permit Wednesday for Colorado-based juwi Wind's plans for up to 94 wind turbines on 16,000 acres capable of generating up to 150 total megawatts of power.

The approval means the company can move forward as long as it guarantees it won't diminish property values and that the wind turbines are built at least 1,500 feet from property lines.

Company officials have 30 days to appeal the permit.

Proponents and opponents of the Prairie Breeze Wind Farm filled Tipton High School's auditorium Wednesday evening, and a video screen displayed the meeting in the lobby to accommodate the large crowd. Members of opposition group Tipton County Citizens for Responsible Development wore white shirts, many with flashing red lights that represent the lights placed on top of wind turbines.

More than 140 local residents addressed the board to either support or oppose the project. Each was given two minutes to speak.

Proponents of the plan argue that there is no statistical evidence that property values would be affected by the turbines.

The only U.S. county that has a guaranteed property value provision for wind farm placement is DeKalb County in northeastern Illinois. The energy company would provide the difference between the sale price and the appraised value if a property owner couldn't sell his or her home for the appraised value.
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  1. Aaron is my fav!

  2. Let's see... $25M construction cost, they get $7.5M back from federal taxpayers, they're exempt from business property tax and use tax so that's about $2.5M PER YEAR they don't have to pay, permitting fees are cut in half for such projects, IPL will give them $4K under an incentive program, and under IPL's VFIT they'll be selling the power to IPL at 20 cents / kwh, nearly triple what a gas plant gets, about $6M / year for the 150-acre combined farms, and all of which is passed on to IPL customers. No jobs will be created either other than an handful of installers for a few weeks. Now here's the fun part...the panels (from CHINA) only cost about $5M on Alibaba, so where's the rest of the $25M going? Are they marking up the price to drive up the federal rebate? Indy Airport Solar Partners II LLC is owned by local firms Johnson-Melloh Solutions and Telemon Corp. They'll gross $6M / year in triple-rate power revenue, get another $12M next year from taxpayers for this new farm, on top of the $12M they got from taxpayers this year for the first farm, and have only laid out about $10-12M in materials plus installation labor for both farms combined, and $500K / year in annual land lease for both farms (est.). Over 15 years, that's over $70M net profit on a $12M investment, all from our wallets. What a boondoggle. It's time to wise up and give Thorium Energy your serious consideration. See http://energyfromthorium.com to learn more.

  3. Markus, I don't think a $2 Billion dollar surplus qualifies as saying we are out of money. Privatization does work. The government should only do what private industry can't or won't. What is proven is that any time the government tries to do something it costs more, comes in late and usually is lower quality.

  4. Some of the licenses that were added during Daniels' administration, such as requiring waiter/waitresses to be licensed to serve alcohol, are simply a way to generate revenue. At $35/server every 3 years, the state is generating millions of dollars on the backs of people who really need/want to work.

  5. I always giggle when I read comments from people complaining that a market is "too saturated" with one thing or another. What does that even mean? If someone is able to open and sustain a new business, whether you think there is room enough for them or not, more power to them. Personally, I love visiting as many of the new local breweries as possible. You do realize that most of these establishments include a dining component and therefore are pretty similar to restaurants, right? When was the last time I heard someone say "You know, I think we have too many locally owned restaurants"? Um, never...

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