• Last modified 732 days ago (July 25, 2019)


Wind farm case dismissed; construction not begun

Staff writer

Only a week after 70 opponents of a wind farm filed a lawsuit against Marion County Planning Commission over approving a conditional use permit, they dismissed the case.

The plaintiffs dismissed the suit July 17 before the planning commission filed an answer.

Wind farm opponents sought judicial review of the planning commission’s June 10 decision to approve the wind farm plan and move the conditional use permit before county commissioners for a vote.

A lawsuit filed in May by wind farm opponents against Expedition Wind LLC, Marion County commissioners, and the county clerk was not dismissed.

That lawsuit seeks a judge’s review of two 2016 amendments to county zoning regulations, that wind energy approvals earlier granted by the county be set aside, a restraining order to prevent wind farm developers to begin construction work, and a court order that the county clerk to remove a disclaimer from its record request forms.

Meanwhile, rumors circulate that the wind farm has begun construction before agreements on road maintenance, payments in lieu of taxes, decommissioning, and communications towers are signed.

Jesse Hopkins-Hoel, vice president of development for National Renewable Solutions, the company developing Expedition Wind Farm, said no construction has started. The company cannot begin construction until agreements with the county are signed.

The company is having soil testing done, which needs to be completed before any work can begin, Hopkins-Hoel said. A search for utility and gas lines, another pre-construction task, is under way.

Last modified July 25, 2019