Madison County Wind Ordinance

The Madison County Board of Supervisors in Iowa approved a new county wind ordinance on December 22, 2020. Specifics of the ordinance are provided below. The full ordinance can be downloaded from the document links on this page. 


  • Noise shall not exceed 40 dBA Lmax (fast) as the desired maximal (day or night) noise limit to protect from adverse effects of audible (closer-originating) noise.
  • Noise shall not exceed 60 dBC Lmax (fast) as the desired maximal (day or night) noise limit to protect from adverse effects of infrasound, low-frequency noise (ILFN) that contributes to sleep disturbance, among other effects and can travel much farther than audible sound. Wind turbine noise, at any time of the day or night, cannot exceed the above specified limits at any point along a non-participating Property Line (not the nearest residence) to be in compliance. Both limit regulations are essential to more fully protect exposed residents.

Shadow Flicker

  • A report prepared by a qualified third-party using the most current modeling software available establishing that no Occupied Residence will experience more than thirty (30) hours per year, or more than thirty (30) minutes per day, of Shadow Flicker at the nearest external wall based on a “real world” or “adjusted case” assessment modeling. The report must show the locations and estimated amount of shadow flicker to be experienced at all Occupied Residences as a result of the individual Turbines in the Project.
  • No amount of Shadow Flicker may fall on or in a Non-Participating Landowner’s property. Shadow Flicker received on a Non-Participating Landowner’s Property requires that the offending turbine(s) be installed with the Optional Shadow Flicker System resulting in Zero Shadow Flicker on a Non-Participating Landowner’s Property. The Optional Shadow Flicker System will stop the C-WECS blades rotating during times when shadow flicker crosses a Non-Participating Landowner’s property.

Height and Number Limitations

  • The Total Height of any C-WEC, IWT, Turbine in Madison County shall not exceed 500 feet.
  • No Project shall have more than 51 total Turbines. Projects shall not be split in order to avoid this restriction.
  • At no time shall the total number of permitted and installed C-WECS in Madison County exceed 51 turbines.

Generating Capacity Limits

  • A limit of 2.3 MW of generating capacity per unit, C-WECS, IWT.

Setback Distances

  • Adjacent Property Lines:

– 1.5 mile from a Non-Participating Landowner’s Property Line.
– ​2100 feet from a Participating Landowner’s Property Line.

  • Occupied Residence 

– 1.5 mile from a Non-Participating Landowner’s Property Line.
– 2100 feet from a Participating Landowner’s Occupied Residence Property Line.

  • Occupied, Non-residential Building: 1.25 mile from Property Line.
  • Confinement Feeding Operation Building: 1500 feet from property line
  • Public Road Right-of-Way: 0.5 miles from nearest edge
  • Open Ditch: 1500 feet from nearest edge
  • Public Conservation Areas, sites on the National Historical Registry, Covered Bridges: 1.5 miles from Property Line.
  • Private-Owned Documented Conservation Areas: 1.5 miles from Property Line.
  • Cemetery: 1 mile from Property Line
  • City Limits: 1.5 miles from the Corporate Limits
20 12 30 Passed 12 22 2020 Madison County Wind Ordinance Title V Chapter 54 Sec Download file (262 KB) _50


Originally posted on Wind Action December 22, 2020

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