SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) — After more than a year of uncertainty, Woodbury County has an updated policy for commercial wind energy turbine setbacks. After three public comment meetings supervisors voted 5-0 to extend the area required between those turbines and residential and conservation areas.

The current ordinance calls for a 2,500-foot setback from occupied residences. Supervisors today approved a 2-mile setback from residential areas Or about 10-thousand feet, and a 1-mile zone around conservation land.

Around a half dozen people spoke at Tuesday’s session with most asking for a 5-mile setback from residential property.

“This is the loess hills, there’s only two places in the world like this. I’m not going to China to enjoy windmill-free hills, I wanna enjoy them here,” said Monty McCoy of climbing hills.

“MidAmerica has laid the pathway for you to what they feel is right for their investment. I think when I look at everybody in here tonight, nobody’s going to played for a fool by MidAmerican. If they don’t have any windmills in their backyard I don’t think it’s pertinent for them to ask you guys to put them in our backyard.” said Wally Kuntz of Moville

Officials with Mid-American Energy supported a 1-mile residential setback. As of 2022, the company had more than 3,400 wind turbines across 33 Iowa Counties. Only limited Woodbury County Land is available for turbines.

“This allows and respects all the cities in the county as far as their annexation authority of two miles. It’s a defensible number, it makes sense it makes good logical sense and it also protects future growth which is really what I think the board centered on tonight,” said Board Chair Matthew Ung.

According to the U.S. energy information administration over 62 percent of Iowa’s electricity was produced by wind power in 2022.