EDP Renewables isn’t letting anything stand in its way of building a wind farm in Douglas County, even though some don’t want it there.
Earlier this week Newman Township voted to create a zoning ordinance that could cause problems for the company. But despite that, EDP says contracts are signed to lease property with almost 100 farmers and they’ve already started developing the land.
Right now it’s a race against time for both the energy company and the township. EDP is hoping to finish construction of the wind farm before Newman Township can even create and pass a zoning ordinance.
On Tuesday people who live there voted 86 yes 57 no to create stricter rules for their land, hoping to keep the wind farm out. Many said they didn’t like the look of them and were unhappy with how close the turbines would be to homes. EDP has already spent about $10,000,000 in development on this $360,000,000 project. They made their plans using Douglas County’s wind zoning ordinance.
If the township makes different zoning regulations than the county, that could be a big setback for the wind farm. But EDP isn’t standing down.
EDP project manager Amy Kurt says, “Even though the vote happened and that’s unfortunate, we’re still moving full speed ahead with the project. That would certainly impact future wind energy projects that might be interested in looking in the township but we’ve been working on this project for several years.”
EDP claims the wind farm would provide about $2,000,000 in property taxes to the area. The company plans to submit the permit with the county later this summer and start construction early 2019 and finish within the same year.
There’s another catch to this. EDP says they’re trying to figure out if Douglas County’s wind ordinance supersedes the possible Newman Township ordinance. Their lawyers are working that out now.