Articles from Kansas
Kingman Wind Energy 1 LLC has signed a $26.4 million agreement with Kingman County to build a 200-megawatt commercial wind farm in the county this year.
With the commission’s approval of the measure, Flory, who had characterized wind towers as "monstrosities" when the amendment was first introduced in February, expressed satisfaction with the protection the measure gave county residents. “I’ve been told (wind towers) are majestic, but my feeling is that how majestic they are is relative to how close they are to your front porch,” he said.
The revised text amendment before commissioners retains the 1-mile notification but doesn’t expand protest rights to those property owners beyond the 1,000-foot radius. However, staff wrote in a report to commissioners that the County Commission has the authority to give protest petition rights to those living in a 1-mile radius. That would create the possibility of two separate protest petitions, both of which could force a supermajority vote, staff wrote.
“What we asked designers for was a wind turbine that would provide all the electricity the waste water plant needed,” said City Manager Herb Llewellyn, adding this was the turbine recommended to the city. “Even when it ran optimally, it never provided the amount of power we asked for.”
The Lyon County Commission heard from a representative from RES Americas on a potential wind energy farm project in Reading during an action session Thursday.
Gov. Sam Brownback signed SB 318 Friday. The bill suspends “all state agency activities, studies, and investigations that are in furtherance of the preparation” of the plans that states are supposed to submit to the U.S. Environment Protection Agency as part of the Clean Power Plan.
The Kansas Senate advanced a bill that blocks the Kansas Corporation Commission from spending any money to study how to comply with the new federal Clean Power Plan until the U.S. Supreme Court resolves a pending legal challenge. Sen. Rob Olson, R-Olathe, added that amendment onto a bill that calls for disbanding the Kansas Electric Transmission Authority, an agency that was established to coordinate construction of new transmission lines to move wind energy to urban markets.
What was intended to save residents millions of dollars hasn't worked in nearly a year. For the past ten months, patience has turned into frustration as the wind turbine at the city's waste water treatment site sits idle.
Tradewind Energy based in Lenexa, Kansas, is planning to build around 150 wind turbines that are about 500 feet tall as part of the Rock Creek Wind Project covering 30,000 acres of land. The turbines will be placed between the city of Tarkio in the center of the county and Tarkio Prairie Conservation Area in the eastern part of the county.
Various problems have left the wind turbine not functioning for more than eight months, beginning with the company from which they purchased it going out of business.
Any large-scale wind farm operations in Douglas County will have to wait another six months before they can take any action, after county commissioners voted Wednesday to extend a moratorium halting any projects.
The wind turbine, installed in 2010 at the school, was the product of a grant from Kansas State University through the U.S. Department of Energy, according to Herald archives. It provided about 2.4 kilowatts of energy per day, enough to power two hair dryers or three microwaves, and saved about $30 in electricity, according to Herald archives.
Republicans on a legislative committee that will oversee the state's implementation of a plan to reduce carbon emissions from power plants said Thursday they would prefer to see those regulations overturned by federal courts.
The renewable power mandate in Kansas, which helped vault the state to become one of the top six wind power producers in the country, may be about to become a victim of its own success. Gov. Sam Brownback is poised to sign a bill repealing the mandate and making it voluntary instead.
The bill strikes the state's current requirement, known as a "renewable portfolio standard," or RPS, which requires electric utilities to produce at least 20 percent of their power from renewable resources by 2020 and replaces it with a voluntary "goal." It also reduces property tax exemptions for renewable energy projects to 10 years instead of the life of the project.
Shifting to renewable energy sources has been widely touted as one of the best ways to fight climate change, but renewable energy can have a downside, as in the case of wind turbines' effects on bird populations. In a new paper, a group of researchers demonstrate the impact that one wind energy development in Kansas has had on Greater Prairie-Chickens breeding in the area - Central Ornithology Publication Office reported.
The agreement is the culmination of several attempts to roll back the RPS, which requires utilities to get 20 percent of their energy from renewable sources, such as wind and solar. Last year, Brownback urged wind energy and conservative business groups to come to a compromise on the issue.
Gov. Sam Brownback joined business and legislative leaders Monday to unveil legislation transforming the state’s mandate to expand renewable energy into a voluntary goal and to reset tax policy for developers of power production facilities.
County commissioners amended the regulations in March by reducing the minimum distance between a wind turbine tower and a leaseholder’s residence from 1,320 feet to 500 feet. The petition filed by Wildcat Creek Ranch alleges the change unreasonably increases safety risks to property owners in and around wind farms.
Kansas companies that produce energy from wind, solar or other renewable resources would lose their property tax exemption under a bill discussed by a Senate panel Monday. Such companies have been exempt from property tax since 1999. A bill discussed by the Senate Assessment and Taxation Committee would instead give those companies a 10-year exemption starting with the launch date of each project.