As a part of my summer fellowship – a topic which I will begin to write more about in the coming days – I am presently reading through Article 2 of the Memphis and Shelby County Unified Development Code (UDC), which is essentially the 500 page book of rules and regulations that govern development in Memphis and the surrounding area. I just happened upon Section J, Subsection 1 which deals with wind farms, which reminded me of an old post from Patrick.
In the post both Scott Walker and Wisconsin Democrats disagree on the safe distance (Walker calls for 1800 ft, Dems call for 1250 ft) and Patrick points out that a particular turbine manufacturer recommends 1300 ft.
The UDC sets out requirements for wind turbines in Memphis (emphasis mine):
Total height of each individual unit shall not exceed 500 feet.
Towers shall be set back a minimum of 110% the tower height from a participating property line. Towers shall be set back a minimum of 1000 feet from non-participating property lines. Towers shall be setback 150% the tower height or 500 feet, whichever is greater, from any public right of way or overhead utility line.
Now if a turbine farm is located adjacent to a residential plot of any variety, the added distance must be at least five additional feet for the location of the home on the lot, which means Memphis’ safe distance would be 1005 ft, which is substantially less than the three distances above.