A group in northern Iowa is raising concerns about a proposed wind farm.
The Lost Island Wind Project would place 40 to 50 wind turbines in parts of northern and western Palo Alto County. Stephanie Parsons, a member of the “Don’t Lose Lost Island” group, says there are wetlands and a wildlife preserve in the area.
“They’re proposing to place these towers directly in the flight path of already endangered birds and threatened bat species,” she says.
The wind farm is a project of Vestas North America, a subsidiary of a Danish company that is the world’s largest manufacturer of wind turbines. Parsons’ group is hosting a meeting about the project tonight at 7 p.m. in Graettinger.
“A lot of the community members didn’t know that there was a new project in the pipeline,” Parson says. “We actually found out bccause Vertas has actually reached out to ask key farmers, with contracts to start the process, and so that’s what sort of got this whole ball rolling about two months ago.”
Lost Island is the name of a township in Palo Alto County and the county’s conservation board operates the Lost Island Wetland Prairie Nature Center north of Ruthven. The website created for the Lost Island Wind Farm says the company is “determined to listen to all perspectives” and believes the Lost Island Wind Project “can benefit everyone who calls Palo Alto County, Iowa, home.”
According to the American Clean Energy Association, there were about 5900 wind turbines operating in Iowa by the end of 2020 and 5200 people work in Iowa’s wind energy industry.
(Reporting by Brian Wilson, KLGA, Algona)