Articles filed under General from Kansas
About 100 people heard diverse viewpoints on wind energy at an Osage County Board of Adjustment public hearing Thursday, but the board approved a conditional use permit for the next wind farm to be built in the Tallgrass Prairie region with little fanfare.
If the company proceeds with the project, based on information provided at a public open house in December, it appears most of it will be within the zoned portion of the county and thus require a conditional use permit. To obtain such a permit would require public hearings before the county planning board and commission.
This is the second wind farm NextEra will construct in Pratt County. The Ninnescah Energy Wind Farm is located in the southeast quadrant of the county and has been in operation for over a year. The New wind farm will be Pratt Energy Wind Farm.
NextEra will apply for a second wind farm in Pratt County. They will meet with the County Planning and Zoning Board at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 16 at the Pratt County Fairgrounds.
Friday’s announcement marks the second mass layoff at the plant since it opened in 2010. The first was in September 2012, when its then German-based owner which built the plant, Siemens AG, cut employment from its all-time high of some 400 workers down to 152. Within 9 months, however, employment had returned to about 300.
Kingman Wind Energy 1 LLC has signed a $26.4 million agreement with Kingman County to build a 200-megawatt commercial wind farm in the county this year.
“What we asked designers for was a wind turbine that would provide all the electricity the waste water plant needed,” said City Manager Herb Llewellyn, adding this was the turbine recommended to the city. “Even when it ran optimally, it never provided the amount of power we asked for.”
What was intended to save residents millions of dollars hasn't worked in nearly a year. For the past ten months, patience has turned into frustration as the wind turbine at the city's waste water treatment site sits idle.
Tradewind Energy based in Lenexa, Kansas, is planning to build around 150 wind turbines that are about 500 feet tall as part of the Rock Creek Wind Project covering 30,000 acres of land. The turbines will be placed between the city of Tarkio in the center of the county and Tarkio Prairie Conservation Area in the eastern part of the county.
Various problems have left the wind turbine not functioning for more than eight months, beginning with the company from which they purchased it going out of business.
The wind turbine, installed in 2010 at the school, was the product of a grant from Kansas State University through the U.S. Department of Energy, according to Herald archives. It provided about 2.4 kilowatts of energy per day, enough to power two hair dryers or three microwaves, and saved about $30 in electricity, according to Herald archives.
St. Louis-based wind farm developer Wind Capital Group LLC is looking to sell its remaining wind farms as its Ireland-based parent shifts focus to Europe.
An issue raised in the dispute was a property reclassification of wind turbine sites that increased the assessed ad valorem tax on those properties. The wind farm argued it was being taxed, even though the county assessed the higher taxes only to landowners.
Taking land for the public good is one thing, landowners named in an eminent domain hearing said, but they suspect the power is being abused to benefit investors in other states.
Gayle said he started taking a hard look at the project after hearing a presentation by developer Rex Savage at a Florence City Council meeting. “There’s a lot of loose ends here, a lot of questions to be answered,” Gayle said.
Conclusion: the wind industry in Kansas, its existence and survival, is purely political in nature. It exists only because of government mandate and significant government subsidy. Isn’t it time to move from the political to the analytical? It’s not simple; It’s not free; It’s expensive; It’s complicated.
“The first time was about two weeks ago,” said the substation’s site manager, Tony Nikabadze. “It was on a Friday. We had all the tools and equipment stored in two trailers. The thieves cut the chains on the doors of the trailer and stole a welder and power tools.” This past weekend thieves struck the site again,” Nikabadze said.
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.
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.
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.