Library from Kansas
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.
"Everyone who is an electricity consumer or who pays taxes that are handed over to the wind power industry has skin in the issue. Forcing Kansans to purchase more expensive renewable power harms almost everyone with skin in the issue."
The Senate voted 23-17 on Thursday to reject a bill postponing the renewable energy requirement for four years, until 2024. The action, which killed the measure, came hours after the House voted 63-59 sending its own legislation lowering the standards back to committee.
Anti-tax conservative Grover Norquist attempted to convince Kansas legislators Thursday to support a bill to weaken a state law requiring utilities to draw 20 percent of energy from renewable sources by 2020.
Renewable Portfolio Standards are coming under attack. The latest locale is Kansas, where the Republican-led legislature says that green energy mandates are distorting markets. ...It's all part of the national discussion over whether requiring utilities to either procure or to produce a percentage of their offerings from sustainable sources is a good thing.
Rep. Dennis Hedke, chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Environmental Policy, said lack of progress on the coal plant prompted lawmakers to consider dumping the RPS or delaying targets two or four years. Some House and Senate members want to extract the state from meddling in oil, gas, nuclear, wind and solar businesses, he said.
The debate about climate change continues, and the discussion has now made its way to the Kansas Legislature. The Senate Standing Committee for Utilities is proposing to delay or modify the mandates established by the Renewable Energy Standards Act that would relieve utilities' requirements to use more renewable fuels.
"There was a cold front that came through two weeks ago," said Kurt Bookout, public utilities director. "During the night we had the wind switch from 35 to 45 out of the south to 50 to 60 out of the north in the middle of the night." As the wind turbine was turning into the wind the blade tips deployed and flaired out as a braking mechanism. That caused one of the tips to break.