Indiana Community Beats Back Industrial Wind Facility

The #Resistance to industrial wind and solar facilities is growing throughout the entire nation. San Bernardino County, the largest county in California, has banned new wind and solar developments, and an Indiana community has beat back a proposed 200 MW wind facility in the Hoosier State, according to the Courier Press.

In a statement to the Princeton Daily Clarion, E.ON wind development manager Karsen Rumpf said the new zoning rules Gibson County passed last month – which would set restrictions for the turbines and ban them from being built within two miles of schools, hospitals and other structures – made it impossible for the project to go forward.

Locals opposed the wind turbines because of their close proximity to a radar station, which could make it more difficult to predict the weather:

“Because of the wind farm’s proximity to the Doppler radar tower in Owensville, the project could have made it harder to forecast the weather.

Opponents cited multiple studies from the National Weather Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and even collected testimony from radar managers and meteorologists.

Here’s a simplified version of how it works: spinning turbine blades and the clutter they kick up can create motion in the radar and spark false reports of a tornado. They can also make it difficult to track any legitimate storm barreling through the area.”

One of the opponents was Kent Scheller, a physics professor at the University of Southern Indiana. Solar panels cover his house in Haubstadt, and in a perfect world he’d love to see his community land a huge source of renewable energy.

“This is not about being pro-wind or against it,” he told me in October. “It’s ‘I want to know if a tornado is going to hit my house.’”

One of the main problem with renewable energy is the massive amount of space it takes up. As we have detailed before, wind and solar take up much more space than a nuclear, coal, or natural gas power plant. If we try to build a grid that runs completely on wind, solar, and battery storage (which is a very bad idea), then land use conflicts like this one will become much more prevalent.