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Members of the Ellis County Joint Planning Commission will determine Wednesday if changes in Hays Wind LLC's proposed project southwest of Hays constitute a minor change in the project's development plan.
A proposal to build Spearville's second wind farm won approval from the Ford County Commission on Monday. The commission signed off on a conditional use permit and development plan for the first phase of a wind farm on the Ironwood site. The site is located on the south and east sides of Spearville and extends up into Hodgeman County.
Prospects might sound pessimistic, Savage said, but he thinks the effort is worth it. If all remaining steps are completed quickly, construction could begin in about a year, but it probably will take a couple of years before construction can begin.
With a decision by a Texas-based company to end its effort in signing up acreage for a potential wind farm in southeast Reno County, no other commercial wind projects are visible on the horizon for the county. Not that the effort by Horizon Wind Energy was really visible, or that the decision makes the county any less viable as a candidate for development, local wind experts say.
Stocking is one of about 200 people on the e-mail list for the newly formed Southern Great Plains Property Rights Coalition, a group of landowners fighting for fair compensation as wind development changes the landscape.
Horizon Wind Energy has pulled the plug on its proposed wind farm north of Cheney Reservoir, saying it can't compete with likely future development. ...Several landowners in the area said most farmers in Horizon's target area felt their land had a higher value as 5-acre rural housing lots or even suburban housing lots.
The fate of a proposed wind energy generation facility at Fort Hays State University remains uncertain. Members of the Hays Area Planning Commission discussed the proposed two-tower project at their Monday evening meeting, but no recommendation was made. FHSU has requested the commission to modify existing city ordinances.
Donica Creek, LLC, is working on getting commitments from Kansas-area landowners for the construction of an approximately 100 megawatt wind farm. If all goes as planned, construction of the 55 or 56 wind turbines will begin in the first quarter of 2011.
With no public opposition voiced Wednesday night, the Ellis County Joint Planning Commission recommended approval of a conditional-use permit for the installation of 18 wind turbines for Hays Wind LLC. The turbines have been relocated since Hays Wind's previous CUP application in 2008 as the result of mediation of a lawsuit involving neighboring landowners.
More than 60 landowners in southwest Ellis County and southeast Trego County have organized to market their land for wind development. The group, which calls itself Butterfield Wind, is working with Bannister Capital Advisors, headed up locally by attorney and Fort Hays State University dean Mark Bannister.
As the result of a settlement last year involving Hays Wind, Ellis County and 21 plaintiffs, 15 turbines in the project area had to be relocated. Hays Wind, owned by Iberdrola Renewables, has proposed 18 turbines in its permit application, but is requesting approval of only 15, according to spokeswoman Jan Johnson.
Garden City - Several new wind farms may be cropping up in the area, allowing Kansas to capitalize on the free-blowing breeze in a state officials say has the second-most potential for wind power in the country.
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.