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Wells to house 87 turbines for wind

20,300-acre farm popping up in spring

– A plan to construct 87 wind turbines in Wells County beginning next spring is a go.

The Wells County Plan Commission approved 24 changes Thursday, most of them modifications to original plans submitted by Apex Wind Energy of Charlottesville, Va.

Before the meeting, Wells County Concerned Citizens agreed to drop an appeal against the project after Apex officials agreed to modify its plans for the 20,300-acre wind farm, said Mike Lautzenheiser, plan commission director.

The initial proposal was unveiled in December. After it was approved in March, the petition was appealed to Wells Superior Court.

Wells County Concerned Citizens had voiced several concerns, including shadow flickers, property values and increased noise.

Apex officials agreed to increase setbacks for a non-participating home from 1,000 feet to 1,200 feet and also created a comprehensive complaint procedure for noise and shadow flickers, Lautzenheiser said. Higher standards were also put in place regarding noise or decibel levels.

The panel limited the company to two years for changing turbine models or moving turbines because of adverse soil conditions or other problems.

After two years, changes would require a public hearing, Lautzenheiser said.

Apex plans to construct 87 of the 479-foot-high turbine towers in the southern section of the county, with completion set for the last quarter of 2013, Lautzenheiser said.

Apex has leased 329 land parcels, with the concentration of the project in Chester, Liberty and Nottingham townships. Poneto is the only incorporated town within the wind-farm project area.

Maps detailing the plans and proposed placement of the turbines are at www.wellscounty.org/apc.htm.

vsade@jg.net

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