MANCHESTER, Iowa — Delaware and Buchanan County farmers have a big decision to make.
A company called RPM Access wants to put up one hundred wind turbines on land shared by the two counties. Monday night developers invited people to see what the project is all about, presenting them with details of the proposed 231 Megawatt project for the first time.
“We have only been at this about a week. We are going to call it the Independence Wind Farm,” said RPM Access Land Developer Kirk Kraft.
Project leaders said they're depending on about 100 landowners voluntarily agreeing to have turbines on their land. Many, though, have lots of questions.
“Just how feasible is it for that area? What is it going to profit the area? How is it going to affect the people who are still wanting to farm the land? Those are major concerns,” said landowner Joan Hoffmann.
Organizers said they'd work out an agreement with farmers, deciding turbine locations and paying the for the space.
“We rent, if you will, we get an easement on the land from the landowners and if they are not interested, well, we've got no place to put the turbine,” Kraft said.
Farmers said they have a lot to think about.
“I think the wind energy is fine, but I don't like them tearing up our ground. They only make so much ground. I realize we have to — it's like you are in between a rock and a hard place,” said Farmer John Ward.
“That is my concern, is taking away good farm land. And that is good farm land in that area for that kind of thing, but at the same time I'm also really interested in alternative energy. So it's a balancing act,” Hoffmann said.
Developers hope to be ready for construction as soon as next spring.
Project leaders said Iowans would use all the energy produced by this proposed wind farm.
RPM Access said the location and scope of this project could change as time goes on based on responses from landowners.