Possible wind farm in Dubuque County - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Possible wind farm in Dubuque County

By Lauren Squires

BANKSTON (KWWL) -- More jobs and renewable energy could soon blow into Eastern Iowa. Eco-Energy based in Freeport, Illinois, is looking into building a wind farm seven miles northeast of Dyersville, between New Vianna and Bankston.

"It's just the wind," said farmer Matthew Daly.

He hears that sound constantly on his farm outside Bankston; where he's lived for 80 years.

"It's an old way to take advantage of the wind," said Daly.

The farm used to generate power from a wind mill. Six weeks ago Daly got a call from Eco-Energy; the company wanted to resurrect that wind power.

"I was surprised because I didn't think it was that windy in this area," said Daly.

It's windy near Bankston but that's exactly why Eco-Energy is proposing a 200 foot tower. It will calculate whether there is enough wind energy to build more turbines throughout out the area.

Tuesday night the Dubuque County Board of Adjustment granted Eco-Energy a permit to place a test tower right here. Just a few feet from daly's house. In a year -- they'll know the power of the wind here.

"They will be starting to talk to farmers and looking for good locations that will be good sites for wind farms," said Anna O'Shea, Zoning Administrator.

The wind farms could create jobs and use local resources to build.

"They get attention there's no doubt," added Daly.

And Daly has no doubt that putting this wind to work is wise.

"The wind is the cheapest thing you can find to run anything and it's been going in other parts of the country for quite awhile," he said.

Construction of the test tower will begin in March. In 6 months to a year Eco-Energy will decided whether to build a wind farm.

A new wind farm could help Dubuque County replace the jobs lost when Vera Sun shut down its Dyersville ethanol plant last year. That plant will go up for auction later this month.

Online reporter: Lauren Squires

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