County puts hold on wind permits

County board votes to suspend future building permits for Alta Farms II

CLINTON — On July 22, the DeWitt County Board voted 6-4 to stop issuing any more building permits for wind turbines, at least for the time being.

A majority of board members voted to suspend further building permits for the Alta Farms II project until its developer, Enel Green Energy, can prove it would be able to curtail the turbines during periods of severe weather.

The procedure known as “curtailment” involves slowing or stopping the rotation of wind turbine blades.  This is believed to reduce potential interference with DOPLAR weather radar used in tracking major storms and tornadoes.

Discussion and possible action on the curtailment agreement appeared under “old business” as the last item on the July 22 meeting agenda.  Board member Megan Myers suggested the board approve the motion citing the concern Enel had not shown their ability to comply with the requirements of the agreement.

Board members Aaron Kammeyer and Buck Carter agreed with the action as a way to ensure Enel would comply with the agreement.  But members David Newberg and Jay Wickenhauser felt the matter was not specific enough in how it was presented on the agenda so should not be put to a vote during that meeting. 

They also said the board should first seek advice from the state’s attorney, who was absent from the meeting.

Although the June county board meeting was largely dominated by comments from residents about wind project construction traffic, Don Waddell did reiterate some of his concerns with the project interfering with weather radar.



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