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Wind farm revisions approved

By the WPD staff

The Wabash County Board of Commissioners on Monday approved changes to a county ordinance regulating the use of personal and industrial wind turbines. The changes come at time when several northern Indiana counties are embroiled in controversy over a proposed industrial wind farm.

The Wabash County Commissioners’ decision was unanimous, based on the recommendation of the Wabash County Plan Commission.

The ordinance was first adopted in 2010 when wind farm were starting to grow in popularity, County Plan Commission Director Mike Howard told the Plain Dealer last week. The ordinance has since been revised several times, the latest of which addresses concerns of what critics call a “shadow flicker” caused when the sun sets behind a windmill.

Previous iterations of the ordinance allowed for 15 minutes of shadow flicker a day for five calendar days per year, but the revised ordinance prohibits any shadow flicker. It also establishes stricter setback requirements.

While Howard says there have only been two applications submitted to the Wabash County Plan Commission since the ordinance was adopted in 2010, both of which were for personal use, wind farms have grown in popularity.

A British-based energy company has plans to install some 300 wind turbines in Miami, Cass and Fulton counties, according to the Associated Press.

Dozens of Miami County residents have complained of the proposal and claim that local turbine regulations are too lax, the AP reported.