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Carroll County officials vote against moratorium on proposed industrial wind farm, despite opposition

A proprietary preliminary map reveals where Scout Clean Energy plans to build a private industrial wind farm in rural eastern Carroll County south of Green Forest.
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Scout Clean Energy
A proprietary preliminary map reveals where Scout Clean Energy plans to build a private industrial wind farm in rural eastern Carroll County south of Green Forest.

Carroll County Quorum Court has rejected a moratorium to temporarily block the construction of a proposed $300 million private industrial wind facility in eastern Carroll County called Nimbus. Scout Clean Energy is the Colorado-based developer behind the project. They secured sufficient easements from private property owners south of Green Forest to install dozens of wind turbines and towers encompassing 9,000 ridgetop acres. Caroline Rogers is the co-founder of Stop Wind Farms in Arkansas. She said a minority of county Justices of the Peace (JPs) voted for a moratorium to research potential environmental and social impacts. 

“Some of the JP’s investigation and research into wind turbine dangers, damages and opposition concluded that our karst terrain, average low wind speed and population area determined this is not the optimal location for 43 turbines standing 650' tall on a ridge, obstructing our views, our sunsets, and our stars,” Rogers said.

Rogers said the Carroll County Quorum Court is also failing to comply with a comprehensive county land use ordinance designed to protect limestone water wells, springs, streams, wildlife and forests. She’s gathered 1400 signatures from citizens who oppose Nimbus.

“We were very disappointed that the County Judge limited public comment time to only three speakers from each side," she said. "The Scout rep talked for over ten minutes, and I came up with thirty challenges, but I could not say anything. This just shows me that the court outcome proves that we need a town hall meeting immediately.”

Scout Clean Energy will have to comply with U.S. Fish & Wildlife as well as National Environmental Policy Act regulations to build Nimbus, provided the company is able to locate a non-utility power purchaser. They claim the project will generate 180 megawatts of renewable electricity, enough to power 30,000 homes, as well as $14 million in private land lease payments and $25 million in county tax revenue over the life of the facility.

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Jacqueline Froelich is an investigative reporter and news producer for <i>Ozarks at Large.</i>
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