No wind farm planned for Johnstown

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Jake Magee
Sunday, April 5, 2015

TOWN OF JOHNSTOWN—NextEra Energy Resources has seemingly abandoned plans to develop a wind farm in Johnstown.

The company has “no active development in Rock County at this time,” a NextEra representative wrote in an email.

The Gazette reported in early 2014 of the developer's plan to start testing wind conditions in Johnstown to see if the municipality was a good fit for a potential 60-turbine wind farm.

Since that time, NextEra hasn't installed any testing towers in Johnstown, town board Chairman Dennis Logterman said.

A one-year town permit granting the company permission to install two testing towers on private land has since expired, Logterman said. The company would have to reapply for a permit if it wanted to move forward with test tower installation, he said.

“I never got a good explanation, but I think they got a better offer in Michigan,” Logterman said of the company.

Logterman isn't opposed to a wind farm in Johnstown, so long as it's necessary. It isn't, though, he said—at least not now.

“We agreed to test towers because we were told by our lawyer we don't really have a choice unless we could prove these two towers were harmful to humanity,” Logterman said.

His concerns include the cost to taxpayers and the cost of repairing roads potentially damaged by trucks carrying cement, equipment and parts, he said.

Others are worried the turbines would be an eyesore or impact health despite laws that restrict turbines from being installed fewer than 1,400 feet from residences.

NextEra Energy Resources declined to comment further regarding the dissolved development.

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