Library from Kansas
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.
More than 1,000 wind turbines and associated industries could spring up in western Kansas as a result of the Grain Belt Express. After years of setbacks, the project gained Missouri utility regulators’ approval late last month to proceed.
"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 proposed wind farm project drew more objections Monday as 14 people showed up at county commission meeting to be heard.
Lawmakers in the House Committee on Energy, Utilities and Telecommunications are considering a bill introduced by Rep. Randy Garber, R-Sabetha, that would require any new turbines to be placed at least 1.5 miles from a residence and 3 miles from an airport, park or hunting area.
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.
More than 50 observers packed the House Energy, Utilities and Telecommunications Committee hearing as property owners and others complained about the effect of wind farms and accused county officials of failing to stand up to large energy corporations. Those companies will have a chance to counter in a hearing scheduled for Thursday. Rep. Randy Garber, R-Sabetha, said he introduced House Bill 2273 on behalf of his constituents.
What appears to be a plan to harvest clean energy in the Wichita area has been shut down — at least for the next 6 months — while county commissioners gather more information. But a bill introduced in the Kansas House might make the delay a moot point.
Legislation that would set minimum setbacks for commercial wind turbines in Kansas at 1 ½ miles from residential homes is scheduled to be heard by a House committee next week.
The commissioners did, however, address the topic of a signing a moratorium resolution, which would put the project on pause for 60 days. At last week’s meeting, it was requested by Will Eisenbise and Brad Lueger – two representatives for the concerned citizens group of Nemaha County – for the commissioners to give a response to the moratorium resolution in one week. Scoby said that the commission will not be making a decision on a moratorium yet.
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.
Adams said bats are being killed by the millions by wind turbines. ...the bats are drawn to the turbines, where they are either struck or killed by a low pressure field that surrounds the turbines. “When you go out and you are driving and you think ‘How majestic,’ in my head I think ‘It is a death count,’ ” Adams said. “It’s really awful.”
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.
Representatives of a proposed electric generation project assured spectators Thursday evening that property values would not decrease and noise would not be a major issue. ...An audience member cited a report with a negative impact of 25 to 40 percent. Project opponent LeRoy Burk provided the report, which was reviewed by Neosho County Appraiser Bob McElroy, who said there would be an impact but he did not agree with a specific amount.
Apex Clean Energy, the developer of the Neosho Ridge wind energy project, on Wednesday released a lengthy economic impact report.
They’ve also spent hundreds of millions of dollars building wind farms and transmission lines to get the power to market, in order to meet a state mandate that 20 percent of the state’s energy come from renewable sources by 2020. That goal has already been met, although the state Legislature has since repealed the requirement.
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.