Articles filed under General from Kansas
Talk of the proposed wind farm again breezed into Ellis County Commission chambers Monday morning. The final decision, however, has been postponed until early September. Dennis R. Davidson, county counselor for the application, requested additional time to prepare, county chairman Vernon Berens said. "We'll meet with our attorney this week and set up a date," Berens said. "Tentatively, we've set up a date for Sept. 4. The bottom line is we'll make a decision." Iberdrola drafted a six-page document of conditions the company is prepared to offer, provided the county grants the conditional-use zoning permit.
There is way too much heat - pardon the pun - and not enough light on the whole global warming discussion. How much power will it take to provide the living conditions the majority of us want and how will we generate it - megawatt by megawatt? Waiting for the unavoidable shortages that will result when the environmental alarmists have blocked all realistic power-generating solutions will certainly solve the air conditioning problem. Only the environmental elites (like Mr. Gore) will have air conditioning!
Commissioners discussed progress toward a final decision regarding the proposed wind farm southwest of Hays at Monday's Ellis County Commission meeting. Keith Pfannenstiel, who resides on Mount Pleasant Road, asked the county commissioners when they expect to vote on the issue. "We don't have a definite date set yet, but I would say maybe the 27th of August or the Tuesday after Labor Day," said Chairman Vernon Berens.
Longtime Greensburg resident and community leader Bob Mosier announced late Tuesday afternoon he'd just received word from Tom Fieler of Clipper Wind, Inc. that agreement has been reached between his firm and Westar Energy of Topeka to build a 105 megawatt electricity-generating wind farm on the same site south of Mullinville previously considered by KCP&L for a similar facility in 2005. That contract was eventually awarded to a site surrounding the town of Spearville.
TOPEKA | With a lump of coal in one hand and the prairie wind in the other, Kansas is marching into its energy future. The state is poised to approve one of the largest coal-fired power plants ever built west of the Mississippi River, even as officials announced plans recently for transmission lines designed to encourage more wind farms. To utility companies and key officials, this is the right direction. They say that the state must embrace an energy mix of coal and wind and that pitting the two sources against each other is wrongheaded. "Adding wind generation to the Kansas electrical generation portfolio is part of the solution - but we cannot expect it to be the solution," Gov. Kathleen Sebelius said in a news release.
As I drove on, I was less amazed and more distraught that anyone would call what I saw, a farm. My uncle is a farmer and his farm doesn't look anything at all like what I saw. The words wind and farm conjure up a friendly pastoral connotation. An image that is harmonious with nature. What I saw is an industrial wasteland. Row after row of huge machines placed menacingly along the highway. They evoke images of the future and the "Terminator," a science-fiction/horror film. It doesn't look anything at all like a farm. The vista looks like a factory, a huge money-making, profit-sucking corporate machine. There weren't any farm hands working the area. Machine after machine of cold hard steel and there was no one working.
El Paso County commissioners will hear plans today for a major power transmission project that will sweep the southeastern corner of the county. The Eastern Plains Transmission Project aims at constructing 1,000 miles of power lines reaching as tall as 14 stories that could eventually link power on Colorado's eastern plains to southwestern Kansas. It would cut across some of the best wind-energy generation sites in the state, project managers say, and have the capacity for future conversion to such renewable energies.
The conditional-use permit application regarding the proposed Ellis County wind farm cannot be passed except by a unanimous vote of the Ellis County Commission, it was announced this morning. Ellis County Clerk Alberta Klaus presented the results of the formal protest petition, which was filed in opposition of the project June 20. Signatures were collected for 43.19 percent of the proposed wind farm's perimeter. "That's what we've been waiting on. This is the next step in our process with the wind farm," said County Chairman Vernon Berens. "We were waiting on the signatures, that we had the necessary signatures." According to Ellis County zoning regulations, a unanimous vote is required if petitions are endorsed by 20 percent of landowners within a 1,000-foot perimeter of a proposed project. If the signatures had not amounted to the 20 percent requirement, the vote could have passed with a simple two-thirds majority.
The issue of wind farm development in Kansas isn't new to Hays resident and state Rep. Dan Johnson, R-Hays. "I've been (in the Legislature) for 11 years and have probably received more communication on wind farms than any other single issue," said Johnson, who has been on the Energy and Utilities committee for several years. "That's without doing any scientific research." He estimated that this communication is a 50-50 split of opponents and proponents to various wind projects.
At Monday's Ellis County Commission meeting, County Clerk Alberta Klaus is scheduled to present information regarding a protest petition filed in objection to the proposed Ellis County wind farm. While the Ellis County Planning and Zoning Commission has made its recommendation, the fate of the proposed Ellis County wind farm depends upon the county commission. "It's in our hands, and we will make a decision," said Vernon Berens, chairman of the Ellis County Commission.
Plans are in the works for Iberdrola, the company heading the proposed Ellis County wind farm, to enter contract negotiations with landowners adjacent to the project area. Project manager Krista Gordon said the contracts are not yet finalized, but arrangements are being made and landowners are being approached, she said. "It's designed to compensate anybody for any potential inconvenience caused by the project," she said. "We understand that construction activity has the potential to be disruptive." Some landowners, however, say that these attempts to negotiate are too little, too late.
Neighbors are scared of neighbors. One resident told me he's frightened to ask a neighbor to look over his livestock if he leaves for the weekend because the atmosphere is hostile. This is far from the friendly atmosphere I moved here to experience and make a part of my life, and it makes it difficult to advocate for others to come and experience the city and county I have come to call home...Today, as we stand shoulder to shoulder, watching fireworks and celebrating our freedom, let's add a new word to our vocabulary regarding the wind farm debate: respect.
This editorial is in response to those who have questioned the veracity of viboracoustic disease and ‘wind turbine syndrome', most recently S.R. Zwenger who asked "can anyone provide published articles on this mysterious and elusive disease?".
A program aided by the U.S. Department of Energy seeks to place small wind turbines at several rural Kansas high schools in the next three years. Wind for Schools is a national outreach effort of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Colorado, where organizers hope to familiarize rural America with a cheap local source of power. The program will help selected schools construct a 1.8-megawatt wind generator on a 60-foot tower. In addition, they'll provide educational support for all school levels to create lessons based on the turbine.
As public sentiment remains strong regarding the proposed Ellis County wind farm, signs expressing both opposition to and support for the project have sprouted up inside Hays city limits, along Interstate 70 and throughout the county. A total of about 30 professionally printed signs against the project have been posted, and police reports have been filed for the vandalism of two such signs located on Golf Course Road, said Chuck White, a detective with the Ellis County Sheriff's office.
Some people might think of them as an efficient source of energy or just a waste of time, eyesores jutting out of the prairie or the only interesting thing to look at on a road trip down U.S. Highway 83 to Dodge City. Opinions about them may differ but they're all concerning the same thing wind farms. Kansas has the third highest potential to generate wind energy and generates the 10th-highest amount of wind energy in the nation. There are currently three big industrial size wind farms in the state, two of them are in Southwest Kansas near Spearville and Montezuma, while the other one is east of Wichita near Butler.
General Electric (nyse: GE - news - people ) announced an investment in three windparks planned by Nobel Environmental Power in New York that would expand the state's wind energy capacity by 70%, and Empire District Electric (nyse: EDE - news - people ) announced it had signed an agreement to purchase power from Horizon Wind Energy's Cloud County Wind Farm in Kansas.
The protest petition for the proposed wind farm southwest of Hays was discussed during Monday morning's Ellis County Commission meeting. Ellis County Clerk Alberta Klaus said the protest petition was delivered Wednesday. "I don't know that you can act on the wind farm application today because of the protest petition I have in hand," Klaus said.
I feel as if our community has been kept in the dark about the 130-plus wind turbine facility to be located in Ellis County. I am a neurologist in the Hays community, a taxpayer and a voting constituent. After doing a bit of research regarding wind turbines, I believe all of us residing in Ellis County need to be involved in making the decision of whether or not we should permit a wind turbine facility to be located 5 miles from the city of Hays. I am an advocate of wind and solar power. I believe wind power is an excellent manner in which to generate electricity. But, I do not believe it is in the best interest of Ellis County and the city of Hays to have this facility within 5 miles of our community.
A long-standing proposal to build a wind farm in Kiowa County is again on the front burner. The company proposing the wind farm, Iowa-based Clipper Windpower, is hopeful that utility companies that have passed over the proposal in the past will want to fast track the project now in hopes of helping the tornado-ravaged area get back on its feet.