Too Big, Too Close – Size and Setbacks

They say a picture speaks a thousand words.

People opposed to the proposed Harvest Wind industrial wind farm in Indiana’s Cass, Miami and Fulton counties are not opposed to renewable energy. We are opposed to the prospect of hundreds of massive structures being sited too close to homes, along with all of the dangers and disruptions those structures will bring to our quiet rural way of life. TOO BIG. TOO CLOSE.

We seek full public disclosure of the heights and proposed placement of the 436 turbines for which Renewable Energy Systems (RES) applied for FAA aeronautical studies on February 9, 2018. Other FAA study requests for turbines to be placed in nearby Jasper and Pulaski counties are listed on the FAA website as being 660 feet tall. The megawatt capacity of turbines mentioned in an email from the wind developer obtained through a Freedom of Information request indicates the proposed turbines may be as tall as 800 feet.  The current FAA request for Cass, Miami, and (yes) Fulton Counties is for structures 685 tall.  If you want to see the raw data (latitude/longitude coordinates), click HERE, and enter 2018 for the year, WTE (wind turbine east) for the region, and Indiana for the state.  We’ve mapped these locations for you in Google Maps, and have added property/home locations from the state of Indiana’s public geographic information system.  Any information included in the map is public record, and any errors are unintentional.

Google Map – Harvest Wind Project

At a minimum, such a change in a community’s civic vision should be accompanied by lots of open public input, addressing the conflicting opinions on land use policy and potential unintended consequences of siting such widespread industrial development into a populated rural area.

Another Indiana wind farm located in White and Benton counties has turbines less than half the height, and double the setback requirement of current zoning ordinances in Cass County.

Want to know what that looks like?

This scale model contrasts the current turbine height and setback in the Tipton wind farm (shorter turbine, red line to 2 story house located 2,640 feet away) with the height and current setback in the Cass County zoning ordinance (taller turbine, 1000 feet yellow line to house).

The turbines in this model (credit: CJ Lowe) have been displayed at several meetings hosted by project opponents next to a variety of existing structures typically seen in the rural landscape.

Model provided by CJ Lowe

A Miami County official complained that the display did not show the setbacks. We think that the setback comparison in the photo above actually makes it look worse!

Would you want hundreds of these structures taller than most urban skyscrapers sited next to your home or rural town? Do you think they will improve your area’s prospects for a thriving community and wonderful place to live and work? Neither do we.

We can choose to learn lessons from the experience of others instead of making our own HUGE mistakes. Once constructed, this is a decision that cannot be undone. Read below the thoughts of one of the county officials who supported the Tipton wind farm and now wishes she had not. Will we learn these hard lessons the hard way?

Hard Lessons from the Wind Farm Project

One Comment Add yours

  1. Nancy Crow says:

    Excellent examples and comparisons of these monstrosities…I just pray that the elected officials take heed and protect the health, safety, and welfare of their constituents.


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