Library from Kansas
Chamber leaders said businesses' concerns about energy costs are prompting it to enter the debate over a state law requiring utilities to see that renewable resources, such as wind power, account for 20 percent of their capacity to generate electricity by 2020. The chamber is not "anti-wind." "We are against government picking winners and losers. Wind energy has its place, but those investments have to be self-sustaining."
Current Federal Aviation Administration guidelines only evaluate vertical structures from a static perspective within an airport zone. However, wind farms are dynamic with spinning blades that can create rotational vortices. "This research points out a shortcoming in the current evaluation process and that is why this is so important.”
The rule shields producers enrolled in the plan and operating in compliance with it from punishment for the accidental death or disturbance of the bird the EPA has targeted for listing as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.
The action came amid reports from residents in southern Douglas County that a potential developer has approached residents seeking to buy easements for wind towers. "Currently we don't have any specific regulations that mention wind farms," said county Administrator Craig Weinaug.
Senate President Susan Wagle, R-Wichita, said she doesn’t like the mandate. “Clearly repeal of the RPS is on the table. It is our responsibility to see that our citizens have the most reliable and affordable energy possible. Renewable energy is very expensive.”
Commissioners are expected to vote on a home rule resolution imposing a moratorium on large wind energy systems when they meet at 4 p.m. Wednesday at the county courthouse. The proposed moratorium would run through April 30, 2014. Douglas County currently does not have development codes that specifically deal with wind farms.
The approval depends on the developer, Clean Line Energy, getting approvals from the Missouri, Illinois, and Indiana state utility commissions before starting construction in Kansas. The order also specified that construction must begin within five years, and that Clean Line can’t recover any of its costs from Kansas ratepayers.
In 2012, there were an estimated 34,000 lesser prairie chickens across their grassland range, which includes portions of Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico and Colorado. Kansas is home to about half the country's lesser prairie chicken population. This year's survey showed the bird's population has declined by about half, down to an estimated 17,600 total in the five states.
"There was a mechanical failure that caused the trailer to go into the median," Cordry said. "Everything was totaled. The truck rolled over; the trailers were damaged and so was the load."
But setting an attendance record for the center wasn't the purpose for the audience members, many of whom raised hands to express their opposition to Clean Line's efforts. The utility seeks to construct a 700-mile overhead, high-voltage direct current transmission line to send 3,500 megawatts of wind power from western Kansas to eastern states,
The bill would allow Kansas utilities to comply with state renewable-energy standards by purchasing credits - not actual power - from hydroelectric plants in the west, rather than investing the money directly in Kansas wind energy. ...Documents from the American Legislative Exchange Council show the proposed "model bill" will be considered this week by the group's Energy, Environment and Agriculture Task Force.
Siemens Wind Power has clarified earlier statements to make it clear that while they're opposed to short-term government subsidies, the company still supports long-term tax breaks for the wind power industry.
In a registered letter delivered to many residents in the area today, Iberdrola Renewables, LLC said, "A variety of circumstances have led the company to the conclusion that it cannot move forward with developing the wind resources on the Property. As such, pursuant to the terms of the Agreement, Iberdrola Renewables, LS is terminating the Agreement effective July 20, 2013.
lanning and Development Director Nancy Scott said that is not the case and that the city regulates their placement only in the interest of public safety and to protect neighbors from nuisances such as noise or shadow flicker caused by spinning blades catching the sunlight. In Myers' case, Scott said, the city was responding to a complaint by another citizen and Myers' first problem was that he never submitted plans for the city's approval or sought a required conditional use permit.
Siemens Energy officials ordered wind turbines using its B53 rotor blade - manufactured at its Fort Madison, Iowa, plant - to run at significantly reduced speeds while the company works to determine what caused two blades to fall from turbines at two wind farms in recent weeks.
A plan for high-voltage power lines will drive farmers out of business - or provide rural counties with a needed source of revenue, depending on who you ask. The line, called the Grain Belt Express, would transmit about 3,500 megawatts of electricity along 600 kilovolt lines from wind farms in southwest Kansas east to Missouri, Illinois and Indiana, where it would join with other lines to carry the power farther east.
The reality of a wind farm in Graham County took a step closer last week when Graham County commissioners approved a conditional-use permit for Ringneck Prairie Wind Farm. The 70-megawatt farm, is on pace to be fully commissioned by the end of 2014.
An inspection of the damage was performed on Wednesday confirming a lightning strike. Results of the inspection show the damage does not appear to be extensive.
The Board approved the resolution to make the change at the April Board meeting. None of the county application requirements have changed but the process for developing a wind energy plan has been modified from a one-step to a two-step process, Moore said.
Rep. Dennis Hedke, said the pushback against renewable energy standards is about 2.9 million Kansans who are seeing higher energy rates that he says are driven largely by government mandates to use alternative energy sources. Hedke said electrical rates have increased 37 percent since 2008.