County imposes moratorium on new wind turbine installations

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FILE – This May 6, 2013 file photo shows a wind turbine farm owned by PacifiCorp near Glenrock, Wyo. Bigger, more efficient equipment will allow a western U.S. electric utility to redevelop an aging Wyoming wind farm with far fewer turbines while generating the same amount of power. Portland, Oregon-based PacifiCorp plans to replace 68 wind turbines at the Foote Creek I wind farm with 13 turbines over the next year. (AP Photo/Matt Young)

WINTERSET, Iowa (AP) — A south-central Iowa county has imposed a moratorium on new wind turbine installations.

Madison County supervisors voted 2-1 on Tuesday to adopt the moratorium, which will run through October 2020 unless superseded by a new ordinance. The moratorium also applies to new solar energy installations. It won’t affect a 52-turbine wind farm already under development in Madison County.

The supervisors say that during the moratorium they’ll develop an ordinance to guide the construction of renewable energy projects.

The county health board passed a resolution in August calling for wind turbines to sit at least 1.5 miles (2.4 kilometers) from homes. Such a setback would be five times greater than MidAmerican Energy has proposed for its most recent wind farm project.

The county supervisors have taken no action on the health board recommendation.

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