Library filed under General from Kansas
A wind-energy trade group is blasting a federal regulatory decision that will let Westar Energy impose additional charges on wind producers when the renewable energy is exported to other states. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved the charges, saying they were just and reasonable to help Westar manage wind power on the electric grid.
The Ellis County Commission unanimously approved road maintenance, payment-in-lieu-of-taxes and decommissioning agreements between the county and Hays Wind LLC on Monday night. All three agreements are pending approval by Hays Wind representatives. ...The PILOT replaces property tax collection on the project, which is exempt under state law.
Ellis County commissioners said Monday night they would meet in open session with Counselor Dennis Davidson at next week's meeting to discuss a few final details with decommissioning, road maintenance and payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreements. "We're at the point now where we know what we need as a county," Commission Chairman Perry Henman said.
The one piece of business discussed by the commission came from Commissioner Keith Campbell. Mr. Campbell proposed that the commission adopt a bylaw which said that when considering board business, if a commissioner "anticipated the opportunity" to personally benefit by the action of the board in the value of $1000 or more, that commissioner should publicly state that. ...Because of the avowed interest of some current and past members of the zoning commission in securing personal contracts with corporations seeking to put wind energy conversion systems in Ellis County, some members of the public were interested in greater transparency in the operation of the zoning board.
In a case pitting the beauty of the Flint Hills against large wind farms, the Flint Hills won. The Kansas Supreme Court ruled Friday in favor of a zoning ordinance in Wabaunsee County that prohibits commercial wind farms. Poised as the third best state in the country for wind power and on the cusp of a renewable energy revolution, Kansas has the potential to be at the epicenter of the wind industry.
In the last six months, I have devoted most of my time to wind energy because of all the recent development activity in the region. Part of my program entails delivering seminars and workshops on the topic. It always surprises me the false impressions or myths that some people have about wind energy and its potential.
The following letter was posted on the Kansas Prairie blog by Peg Britton. It was sent to Ms. Britton from Dennis Farney, a retired writer for the Wall Street Journal who lives in Kansas City and has great love for Kansas. The material in his letter offers insight on how some environmental organizations view Kansas.
How about this for a new state slogan: Kansas, not as windy as you think? A study of long-term wind speed trends suggests just that - winds across the United States, in Kansas and a few other states in particular, have been steadily decreasing since 1973. The study, to be published in August in the Journal of Geophysical Research, is the first of its kind in the U.S. Using data from wind monitors, the study found that winds had slowed across the U.S. by about 10 percent over 30 years.
Details about how much local government money could flow to the proposed Siemens Wind Power plant in Hutchinson have not fully emerged. And that could amount to a violation of the Kansas Open Meetings Act. ...However, the contract between Siemens and the participating parties - to include Reno County and the cities of Hutchinson and South Hutchinson - continues to be finalized in secret.
There's been a major shift in the direction of Hutchinson's Sunflower Wind, but company officials say production at the wind turbine manufacturing plant is still on the horizon. Rather than the planned 2.5-megawatt turbines with 180-foot-long blades, the company is working to produce 100-kilowatt wind turbines that require only low wind speeds to power small commercial buildings, schools, hospitals or industrial plants.
Wind power is booming -- at the moment. Companies are flocking to build turbine and blade plants in the United States, such as the one Siemens will build in Hutchinson. The amount of energy harvested from wind rose 50 percent last year to 25,300 megawatts. For the people in the ethanol industry, it must sound sadly like deja vu.
The message Thursday evening was loud and clear: Adjustments need to be made to the location of a proposed power line stretching from Spearville to Hays. The reasons for moving the lines varied, however, from aesthetics to interfering with a proposed wind farm in central Rush County. It was just as clear that landowners don't consider a one-time, up-front lump payment for easements as fair.
Plaintiffs contacted by The Hays Daily News, however, say they have not signed the document, with at least one implying their intent is to do so. While some question has been posed as to whether the county commission should have made the document public before the other signatures were obtained, Davidson said it was within the county's rights to take action.
In a unanimous decision at Monday's meeting, Ellis County Commissioners endorsed terms of settlement in a lawsuit regarding a wind farm southwest of Hays. While commissioners said the settlement could bring closure to the hotly disputed wind farm controversy, lawsuit plaintiffs might not be so sure.
After years of discussion and a lengthy legal battle, it appears Ellis County soon could be home to a 200-megawatt wind farm. In a unanimous decision, the Ellis County Commission today approved a settlement in the case of Davis v. Ellis County regarding a proposed project southwest of Hays. The agreement holds that the conditional-use permit commissioners granted for the project is lawful and enforceable, meaning the wind farm could proceed.
A high-voltage power line unlike any seen this side of the Mississippi River soon could be striding across southwestern Kansas. Cable bundles as thick as pickup tires and bearing 765,000 volts would bind the ever-more-productive wind fields of Kansas to outside markets. The project, estimated to be worth up to $800 million, is still up for grabs between two competing groups that could get the lines up and humming by 2013. ...Nearly 1,012 megawatts from wind turbines will be available by the end of 2009, but 7,000 megawatts are proposed for western Kansas by 2030.
An energy company hoping to establish a wind farm in Pratt County will have to keep its 400-foot towers about three and a half miles from approaches to the Pratt Industrial Airport, but that news should come as no surprise to Indeck Energy Services.
Much of the discussion at a wind energy forum Tuesday night at Fort Hays State University revolved around the same arguments both proponents and opponents of the alternative energy in Ellis County have maintained all along. The one thing the forum's three panelists could agree on was that reducing energy consumption is needed.
Nikki Schwerdfeger won't believe it until she sees the blades spinning. The Hamilton County landowner remains cautiously optimistic about the proposed 135-megawatt wind farm about to be developed near her rural Coolidge home. One of the landowners who signed a lease for erecting wind turbines on their property, she has yet to learn if any of the around 90, 262-foot-tall turbines will spin on her land.
Representatives of British Petroleum Wind Energy are wooing Pratt County farmers to use their land for development of a possible wind farm in Pratt County while BP is finishing preparations to put their Flat Ridge Wind Farm with 40 wind turbines into operation in Barber County.