Articles filed under General from Kansas
Commissioners approved a conditional use permit for development of a wind farm, but took no action on a development plan submitted by the company Monday.
An opponent of a wind farm in Reno County and a rancher from Ellsworth County who has 11 wind turbines on his property give their views on the growing renewable energy source. BY
A protest petition against development of a proposed wind farm in the southern portion of Marion County was filed Monday with the county clerk’s office. If the 64-signature protest petition is validated, county clerk Tina Spencer said, state law would require a 3-0 vote of the commission to approve a conditional use permit.
The majority of speakers voiced their opposition. “We could have chosen to live anywhere but we chose to live here,” Matt Amos said. “Had I known that this was going to happen, I would have not have chosen to live here.” One after another, the stream of voices filled the conference hall.
County commissioner opposed to wind farm has turbine on her property Although a proposal to build a wind farm in the southern portion of the county has drawn strong opposition since August, not everyone stands against its construction.
Commissioner David Orr, appointed after the resignation of ex-wife Jennifer Orr, said Thursday evening that he is in favor of the project if officials can put the right deal together. But he warned he does not think the developer, Apex Clean Energy, will simply go away if officials cannot agree on agreements for road use, decommissioning and payments in lieu of taxes.
Novak said she felt obligated to stand by her opposition to the wind farm. She asked if a disclaimer can be added to future resolutions showing who voted against it. Commissioners generally agreed such a disclaimer can be added. They agreed it would be good to note who did not vote in favor.
The importance of the petition is that — if it is verified as legally sufficient — it would require a unanimous vote of the Reno County Commission to approve the NextEra permit, rather than a simple majority. The Reno County Planning Commission voted 4-3 on April 23 to recommend the county commission deny the NextEra application on grounds that it didn’t benefit the health and welfare of county residents.
Marion County has one wind farm in the far north part of the county. A second wind farm is proposed and county commissioners are expecting strong public comment from those for and against the proposal. County commissioners have already heard from some opposed to the look of a wind farm in the county.
Opponents of a proposed wind farm spanning from Florence to Aulne to north of Peabody once again showed up at county commission meeting to ask for a moratorium on wind farm development. “What it comes down to, I think, is money,” said Hillsboro resident David Marsh. “If you have a moratorium, it will buy you time.”
Darrow said he had not completely understood from an email that the ad would be used in print and social media. He said he would not have gotten involved if he had known it was controversial, and he did not want to involve himself with negativity. Darrow said the last thing he wants to do is hurt anyone. He said he believes in renewable energy but can empathize with the non-leasing landowners. “Both sides are right,” he said.
More than 50 people addressed the seven-member board during the nearly 8-hour hearing at the Atrium Hotel. But asked for a show of hands from those still in the audience at 11 p.m. who wished to speak, at least 35 hands went up. ...While at least a dozen people spoke in favor of the project, including the Hutchinson / Reno County Chamber president and manager of Hutchinson’s Siemens Gamesa turbine manufacturing plant, the vast majority of speakers were opposed to the development, sought additional restrictions or asked for the elimination of specific turbine sites.
"Any object that gets into the radar beam returns energy back to the radar and creates false echo. So wind turbines are just one thing that can do that," he explained. On the radar, wind turbines show up an angry red, sort of like severe storms. Jay says he adjusts his readings of radar every day to account for wind farms. ...He just discounts the data. But that means he might miss a forming tornado or a change in direction of a severe storm.
A company hoping to develop a wind farm in the southern portion of the county faced daunting challenges at Tuesday’s county commission meeting when a standing-room-only crowd turned out to speak in opposition to the proposed project — at least right now.
The moratorium buys the county time to consider whether new regulations are needed. Current zoning laws do not include specific rules for a large-scale wind or solar development. Applications for those type of energy sources would be considered in the conditional use permit process.
Commission chairman David Dennis called for the moratorium after attending a Reno County meeting last year that resulted in approval for a wind farm project. He said he left that meeting with more questions than answers, and he said Sedgwick County does not have a set of rules for any kind of alternative energy projects.
That's critical in this fat cat, tax-credit fueled industry which, more and more, depends on secrecy as much as it does a steady breeze. Wind farm developers like to point to thousands of lease holders at projects across the country and how few complaints they have about their gigantic neighbors, but they never mention the source of all that satisfaction – prosecution and financial ruination due to gag clauses in those signed leases and easement agreements. Indeed, where you can keep control of the smoke, there's no evidence of a fire.
City staffers said they had been in the process of reviewing Westar’s offer but had not been able to determine — before all the wind energy was spoken for — whether it was a good idea, according to a city staff memo to the commission.
A big draw to Kansas is the hunting and fishing opportunities, Shaw said, so he said the lake board likely would be concerned about the planned wind farm. He urged the city to oppose wind turbines being built so close to the lake
NextEra could meet a minimum 2,000-foot setback from any occupied residences ...It could not, however, meet a proposed 2,500 foot or nearly half-mile setback requirement within the existing proposed footprint ...Requiring a 2,500-foot setback “could jeopardize the project,” because several proposed turbine sites involve smaller – just 5 or 10 acre – pieces of ground.