BLUFFTON, Ind. (AP) -- The developer of a proposed wind farm in northeastern Indiana is increasing the number of turbines it wants to install as part of a $336 million complex on about 37,000 acres of land.
Apex Wind Energy of Charlottesville, Va., will present its new design to local officials next month and says it expects construction to begin by the end of the year.
The design is a change from the 87 turbines on 18,500 acres that Apex initially proposed, The Journal Gazette reported.
Apex says it won't increase its investment because the 200-megawatt farm will still produce the same amount of energy.
The company overcame opposition from residents by agreeing to higher standards for noise, increasing setbacks for homes that aren't participating and creating a complaint procedure for noise and shadow flickers.
"We incorporated changes to respond to concerns," said Rob Propes, development manager for the company. "As a result, we have fewer turbines than we could have had."
The company still has some detractors, Propes said, but he said he believes they're in the "vocal minority."
Other proposed wind farms in northeastern Indiana haven't fared as well.
In Whitley County, Wind Capital hoped to establish a wind farm but angered residents in 2010 when it put up meteorological towers and then set out to sign land-lease contracts with residents before county leaders could establish a wind farm ordinance.
"That made many people upset that they started that way," said David Sewell, the county's executive director of planning.
The county then enacted an ordinance requiring a half-mile separation between a nonparticipant's property line and a wind turbine.
"That would have meant that basically everybody in the area would have to agree to it," Sewell said. "That's next to impossible."
He said Wind Capital officials determined it wouldn't be economical to proceed.
Propes believes Apex is in a better position because of the construction concessions it made in Wells County.
The business still needs to get permits approved and find customers for the energy it will produce.
Apex has said it will generate $17.1 million in property taxes over 25 years in Wells County.
Information from: The Journal Gazette
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