By Kayleigh Rahn
The Douglas County Board members were once again greeted with a full house during the Wednesday, Aug. 15 meeting.
The high attendance rate throughout the summer months has been thanks to a proposed wind farm by EDP Renewables and a request by neighboring landowners and residents for the county board to amend its Wind Energy Conservation System ordinance (WECS).
The proposed 10,000-acre Broadlands Wind Farm has been met with resistance from residents who believe the county’s WECS ordinance does not go far enough to protect neighboring residents. The residents say the property line set backs are not enough to protect their homes from shadow flicker, noise, ice throw, and a run away turbine.
EDP Renewables has worked for nearly a decade to get the 200-megawatt, 60-turbine site wind farm off the ground. However, according to recent committee meeting minutes, there is still much work to accomplish before the official application is submitted to the county for final consideration.
According to minutes from the Wednesday, Aug. 8 road and bridge committee meeting, County Engineer Jim Crane reported that the required road use agreements between EDP, township road districts, and the county engineer have been slowed due to the impact and damage to county and township roadways by the sub-contractor of the sub-contractor to EDP Renewables in building the proposed switchyard. At the time of the Aug. 8 committee meeting, there were no additional negotiation meetings scheduled.
Also, Crane reported that Ameren was completing earthwork on Aug. 15 at which point Ameren would become the lead agency on the site, which meant the current building permit with EDP would expire, meaning a new building permit, as well as a different road use agreement, would need to be put into place with Ameren.
“This will most likely cause significant delays in the negotiations of a workable road use agreement between Douglas County and EDPR/Ameren due to the significant road damage that has occurred to date,” the notes say.
The full story can be found in the Wednesday, Aug. 22 edition of The Tuscola Journal.