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Report: New Regulations Needed for Iowa Wind Power

Report calls for updated local regulations for wind-energy development. (Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons)
Report calls for updated local regulations for wind-energy development. (Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons)
June 6, 2016

DES MOINES, Iowa - With Iowa already generating 31 percent of its power from wind, more per capita than any other state, a new report suggests regulations at the local level are needed to protect the interests of landowners and communities.

While the clean, renewable energy and economic opportunities are welcome, Lu Nelsen, policy program associate for the Center for Rural Affairs, says damage caused during construction needs to be addressed.

"It can include the condition of access roads. It could also include the condition of public roads," says Nelsen. "And you know, in a lot of rural areas the condition of those public roads is a big concern because if heavy equipment could possibly damage those roads, it's going to be hard to ever get those roads repaired."

Nelsen says sound regulations helps the landowners, local communities, and the industry itself.

"If these ordinances aren't updated, then that can lead to a lot of concerns not being addressed and that creates bad relationships," he says. "When you have that bad blood in the community that can ruin future development or even opportunities for future development."

Nelsen also says it's best for communities to come together before a project is approved and make certain the right regulations are in place.

"A lot of folks don't like it when ordinances go a bit too far and are overly restrictive just to be restrictive," says Nelsen. "But having ordinances in place that make sense, that are going to be good for the community and also provide clear guidelines for developers."

The Center for Rural Affairs report on wind energy can be found online at

Bob Kessler, Public News Service - IA