MANCHESTER | Delaware and Buchanan county farmers face a big decision.
RPM Access wants to put up 100 wind turbines on land shared by the two counties. Monday night, developers presented residents with details of the proposed 231-megawatt project.
“We have only been at this about a week. We are going to call it the Independence Wind Farm,” said RPM Access Land Developer Kirk Kraft.
Project leaders said they’re depending on about 100 landowners voluntarily agreeing to have turbines on their land. Many, though, had lots of questions.
“Just how feasible is it for that area? What is it going to profit the area? How is it going to affect the people who are still wanting to farm the land? Those are major concerns,” said landowner Joan Hoffmann.
Organizers said they’d work out agreements with farmers on turbine locations and paymets.
“We rent, if you will. We get an easement on the land from the landowners, and if they are not interested, well, we’ve got no place to put the turbine,” Kraft said.
Farmers said they have a lot to think about.
“I think the wind energy is fine, but I don’t like them tearing up our ground. They only make so much ground. I realize we have to -- it’s like you are in between a rock and a hard place,” said John Ward.
“That is my concern, is taking away good farm land. And that is good farm land. ... But at the same time I’m also really interested in alternative energy. So it’s a balancing act,” Hoffmann said.
Developers hope to be ready for construction as soon as next spring. Project leaders all energy produced will be used in Iowa.
RPM Access said the location and scope of this project could change based on responses from landowners.