Indiana Wind Watch

June 2018

Why are Wind energy companies in Indiana? Weak Wind Ordinances

Where Wind Energy Flourishes, so do Conflicts of Interest

The Montgomery County No Wind group is still pushing for their commissioners to change setbacks from 1,300 to 2,640 feet. Setbacks are also measured to homes instead of property lines. The commissioners have proposed a new ordinance which includes changes of little benefit to the non-participating landowner.

A few months ago the commissioners proposed to reduce the ordinance’s decibel limits from 60 to 30. However, Commissioner Phillip Bane said he would not vote to lower decibel limits.

Mr. Bane still continues to weigh in during discussions on wind despite concerns about conflicts of interest on his part with wind companies. At a commissioner’s meeting in April, he announced that he does not have a wind contract, nor does he intend on signing with Apex/Roaming Bison Wind. However, Mr. Bane was under a wind lease with Invenergy for his personal property from 2009 until 2015. Invenergy dissolved its agreement with leaseholders in 2015. From 2009 to 2015, Bane voted on two major pieces of wind legislation for the county. One was the outdated wind ordinance which he drafted in 2009, just a few months after he signed his lease with Invenergy. The second piece of wind legislation he signed for the county was with Akuo/Sugar Creek Wind in 2013. This agreement was in conjunction with labeling that area of the county as an Economic Redevelopment Area, or ERA. The definition of an ERA is in essence that of a rural ghetto. The Sugar Creek Wind agreement also allocated funds to Ivy Tech, where Bane is/was a paid member of the Board of Directors. Mr. Bane’s son has also enjoyed a position with GE Wind since 2016. Mr. Bane should recuse himself from voting on wind issues and stop participating in discussions regarding wind energy with other officials. (Phillip Bane holds an interest in Indiana and Ohio Case IH Bane-Welker equipment dealerships.)

Big picture
RES rep Matt Boys recently "slipped up" in a public meeting in Pulaski County and told the crowd that people living near wind turbines for the first 20 years were the guinea pigs. Instead of easing their worries, those in the crowd were left wondering if they are the guinea pigs for the new 660+ foot turbines RES will install that have only been built off-shore and never before in close proximity to humans.

Pulaski County Ordinance still weak

Pulaski County's Plan Commission meeting did not go as well as hoped on Tuesday night but all was not lost. Recommendations the Plan Commission will be voting on July 23rd include: 51 decibels during the day, 40 at night. 3.5 times the height of tower setback or 1,320 feet, whichever is greater and 1/2 mile setbacks from incorporated villages. (We recommend these setbacks be rejected by the Commissioners if this passes.) We were more pleased with other recommendations including 2 3/4 mile setback around private airports, 6 mile setback from Jasper-Pulaski Wildlife Area and Winamac State Park, one mile from both banks of the Tippecanoe River. We are thrilled with the protection for wildlife but are perplexed as to why humans are not as important as wildlife. Plan Commission votes on changes to their ordinance on July 23 at 7:00 p.m. in Star City, Indiana.
Video "Trump Towers or Wind Turbines"

Fulton County farmer and university researcher Aaron Ault explains why residents oppose wind projects.

Why do we object to the setbacks?

Wind companies recommend Benton County's outdated ordinance with short setbacks of 1,000 feet from occupied residences. Benton County is a sparsely populated county with just 8,600 residents. Other counties with the same or very similar setbacks have 30,000 or more residents, meaning wind turbines will be placed close to many more residences.

Wind turbines planned for some projects in Indiana are 660+ feet tall, more than twice as big in size and megawatts as the first wind turbines built under the now outdated "model" ordinance. Multipliers should be used in ordinances to protect residents, and wind companies should be required to supply county officials with the operations safety manual for the model they will be installing so Commissioners and Plan Commissions can ensure homes are not in the unsafe evacuation zone surrounding wind turbines.

Wind turbines are so large that lease signers not only sign themselves up for the ill side effects, landowners are signing up all of their neighbors for the ill effects, too. In addition to property devaluation for neighboring property, wind companies themselves spell out all of the problems in the lease and the landowner signs all rights away to ever sue for the problems wind turbines cause. From a 2018 RES Indiana lease, "A non-exclusive easement, right, and entitlement on, over, across and under the Premises and any adjacent property owned by Landlord for any audio, visual, view, light, flicker, noise, shadow, vibration, air turbulence, wake, electromagnetic, electrical, radio and television frequency interference, and any other effects whatsoever resulting directly or indirectly from any operations conducted on or facilities now or hereafter located on the Premises."

Counties whose citizenry had success against big wind

  • Allen
  • Boone
  • ​Fulton
  • Grant
  • ​Howard
  • Marshall
  • Noble
  • Rush
  • Wabash​
  • Wayne
  • Wells
  • Whitley​

About us

We are a self-funded grassroots organization of volunteers in Indiana concerned about the health, safety, and wellness of Hoosiers forced to live near industrial wind turbines. It is our mission to protect every Hoosier from the unfortunate fate of living near irresponsibly-sited industrial wind turbines.​