Library from Kansas
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.
This newspaper has argued that the PTC created jobs. That is wrong. It displaced jobs elsewhere, and it is a net destroyer of American jobs because it raised the price of energy for manufacturers. All the companies that must then pay higher electric bills have less money left over to hire employees and grow their enterprises, and consumers have less money to spend as they see fit.
The biggest cuts will come in Fort Madison, where 407 workers at a wind turbine blade factory will be out of work. About 220 workers there will be retained. The company blamed difficult market conditions due to lack of congressional action on a wind energy tax credit as well as increased use of natural gas-fired power plants and an overall sluggish economy.
Siemens, a German conglomerate, announced Tuesday it is laying off 146 employees at its wind turbine nacelle plant in Hutchinson, leaving just 152 employees there. All told, 615 employees in Siemens' wind power business will lose their jobs. Siemens said the change would primarily affect employees in Iowa, Kansas and Florida.
According to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), Kansas is leading the U.S. in new wind farm installations this year. By the end of the year, eight new utility-scale wind projects will come online - representing approximately $3 billion in new investment - and the state will have more than doubled its installed wind power by adding 1.489 GW of new wind power capacity.
KPI President Dave Trabert said subsidized wind farms hurt the state's economy, that business investment in the state will be $191 million less than without the mandate. "It's easy to see windmills going up or an employer moving into town as a good thing," Trabert said in a KPI press release. "But it is often overlooked that they received a subsidy or incentive.
Commissioners unanimously approved the recommendation of the Ellis County Planning and Zoning Commission for a conditional-use permit for Fort Hays State University to construct two wind turbines, contingent upon meeting several requirements. The project for two 2.1 megawatt Suzlon turbines.