The Iowa Utilities Board is proposing rule changes for industrial wind farms that will allow condemnation of private property and issue permits intended to “streamline” the application process and construction of wind farms.
You only have until June 22 to comment on the proposed changes on their open docket comment form at: /iub.iowa.gov/online-services/open-docket-comment-form. They ware docket RMU-2020-0028 and docket RMU-2019-0024.
I object to the proposed changes for the following reasons:
First, they give an unfair advantage to industrial wind. All type of energy industries should be able to compete on a level playing field to ensure consumers get reliable and reasonably priced energy to meet their needs.
Second, they would take local control away from the counties. We have 99 counties in Iowa with a variety of populations, needs and terrains. Local Government is best suited to know whether industrial wind should be allowed in their county.
Third, condemnation of private property is expensive and repugnant to many people. Building a power line is one thing when property owners agree to sell rights to their land. It’s something else when the developer tries to take land for wind industry using a utility’s power of eminent domain. Industrial wind turbines are very different from power poles. They are huge industrial machines with spinning blades that can break off, catch fire and throw debris for up to a quarter of a mile.