County officials debate language of wind ordinance


Land use committee members discuss ability to enforce wind project rules

CLINTON — As county board members debated conditions to the Alta Farms II special use permit Monday, they soon found themselves mired in the language used in the ordinance.  This has been a familiar refrain during the years-long process involving the wind energy project.

County zoning administrator Aaron Paque’ wasn’t far into his explanations of each of the 23 conditions before members of the county’s land use committee began discussing how vague they felt much of the language was in the ordinance.

The county would enforce the conditions as ordinances as part of its agreement with Enel Energy, Paque’ said.

“But, they would not be on the books for future projects.”

The first condition Paque’ covered involved the use of curtailment of wind turbines in the event of a storm alert issued by the National Weather Service (NWS).  The condition would require Enel operators to curtail DeWitt County turbines if the NWS issued a severe weather alert for neighboring Logan County. 

“The condition will last the lifetime of the project,” Paque’ said.  “And, after talking to NWS, this condition is the baseline for what needs to happen.”

The NWS also has its own conditions, “which will be worked out with them.”

Curtailment is the practice of slowing or stopping the rotation of wind turbines to reduce the potential interference with NWS weather radar.

Committee member Aaron Kammeyer asked about language that alluded to other action but was not specific.

* See the complete story in the Friday print edition of the Clinton Journal or now in the Journal E-Edition for subscribers.

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