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Tippecanoe County makes wind energy rules friendlier to small projects April 8, 2010

Posted by Laura Arnold in Uncategorized.
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By MAX SHOWALTER • mshowalter@jconline.com • April 5, 2010

http://www.jconline.com/article/201004051318/NEWS03/100405012

Two amended ordinances that deal with wind energy fees and regulations were approved today by the Tippecanoe County commissioners.

The majority of the changes made in recent days in the county code benefited people installing micro wind energy conversion systems for their personal use.

While the fee for such systems remains $100, the amended version of the ordinance eliminated payment of an additional annual fee and an inspection fee.

“This board actually has been a real team player,” said Cris Post, who has a small wind turbine on his property south of Lafayette and has started a company that sells the devices to homeowners.

Post said lowering the initial $100 fee would lessen the payback time for people using the small turbines to convert energy for their personal use. But he was unable to convince the commissioners to change it.

Several people expressed concerns about the ordinance requirement for commercial wind farms that restricts a turbine to at least 1,000-feet from the property line of a non-participating land owner.

“One thousand feet is way to close. These things (would) just tower over us,” said Robert Brooks, who lives in the south end of Tippecanoe County, where a wind farm is a possible future development. “I bought this house nine months ago, and I didn’t know anything about this.”

Future changes could be made to the ordinances.

“If they need to be tweaked, we will tweak them,” said county commissioner David Byers.

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