Wind energy. Bring the topic up at any local eatery and you’ll find strong opinions on both sides of the issue. While the subject is divisive, there isn’t much happening in terms of Wind Energy Conversion Systems (WECS), otherwise known as wind farms, currently. There are no commission-approved use permits for wind farms in Henry County as of this publication in late April of 2018. The tax abatement for Apex Flat Rock’s project expired at the end of 2017, and the approval for NextEra expires at the end of 2018. No wind farms in Indiana have been constructed without tax abatement. The New Castle-Henry County Economic Development Corporation is not pursing any wind-related projects.
Before wind turbines are constructed, the companies constructing them must go through at least one public hearing and gain majority support by the planning commission. Adjacent landowners to the proposed project would receive a mailed notice of the hearing, and notices are also published in the newspaper and posted at the courthouse. Before this hearing happens, the wind farm development companies must file a complete application pursuant to the Henry County Development Code. At this time, there are no applications on file.
The New Castle-Henry County Economic Development Corporation was originally pursuing wind energy because it correlated with the organization’s mission of attracting investment and growing the tax base. However, seeing that many members of the community believed the risks of wind farms outweighed the benefits, the New Castle-Henry County EDC issued an open letter to the community in August of 2016. In the letter, the corporation expressed that they would no longer pursue new wind farm development in Henry County.
In 2017, the Commissioners held a series of public meetings with both pro-wind and anti-wind representatives, leading to attorneys drafting final changes to the ordinance and agreements, which are still in process.
There are no currently approved wind farms in Henry County. Approval will require three boards: the planning commission, the County Commissioners, and County Council. The project would need 29 “yes” votes by 17 different people (some members serve on multiple boards).
For more information about the history of wind energy in Henry County, here are some helpful links:
General timeline prepared by the New Castle-Henry County Economic Development Corporation
Open letter to the community from the New Castle-Henry County EDC regarding wind energy
8 thoughts on “Wind Energy’s Story: From the Perspective of the New Castle-Henry County EDC”
“Weather you like it or not we are getting Wind Turbines ” -Steve Rust. Please don’t try to blow smoke up my rear end this close to Election time.You fool no one.
Weather is sometimes confused wit Wheather.
Requiring 29 yes votes by 17 different people is exactly why no one person should serve on multiple boards. I don’t care what the issue is, this just makes no sense.
Appreciate this information. I am still shocked and amazed that any elected leaders could support wind turbines with the plethora of negative information regarding them that any 10 year old could find on line and realize that $$$ promised will not justify what it would do to residents and the rest of the county.
Get in an airplane and fly somewhere, anywhere. Look out the window at the vast tracts of land, not close to residences, ripe for wind and solar. All without harming neighbors. I can’t in anyway see how the county benefits and i don’t think our county is in any way appropriate for wind turbines.
Calpine is actively collecting wind data from two meteorological towers in Henry County. These were approved by county officials just last year. Allowing these to enter our county is a nod to industrial wind.
Wind turbines will go the same way as the huge home owner satellite dishes did of the 1980’s. They are temporary and not a permanent solution to the problem. Another subsidy program by the government and a boondoggle for the tax payers. Let’s invest in energy storage R&D. That’s where the need really is.
My brother just sold his beautiful $300,000.00 home in fear that wind turbines will be erected in the area. He knew if that came to pass his property would be worth much less. My wife and I are considering the same thing. I was born in Henry County 68 years ago and built our home in 1975. My wife and I love it here and would hate terribly to move, but, move we will if this scourge on the land takes place.