Library from Kentucky
Wind Farm development became a divisive issue because honest straightforward information was not given to the citizens of Mason County in a timely manor. When in every state that has wind farm developments there has been litigation, it certainly should be the responsibility of elected officials to govern and protect the health, safety and welfare of citizens.
This comprehensive land use ordinance controlling the siting of wind energy facilities was adopted by Mason County in Kentucky. The preface of the 26-page ordinance is provided below alson with a short summary of the siting limits. The full ordinance can be accessed by clicking the link on this page.
In summary, the ordinance will ban large-scale industrial wind turbines in the county, except in already designated industrial zones. The ordinance will allow mid to small scale turbines for accessory use at a principal site, not for the purpose of sending the energy across electric transmission lines.
City commissioners fell in line with county officials and members of the Mason County Joint Planning Commission when they took the first vote Thursday to ban large scale industrial wind turbines, except in rural industrial zones.
The 26-page ordinance is based upon the facts and findings of the Mason County Joint Planning Commission at an August 2014 meeting. The recommendations were the culmination of months of discussion, public meetings and a trip to an Indiana wind farm by JPC board members. In summary, the ordinance will ban large-scale industrial wind turbines in the county, except in already designated industrial zones.
Stringent restrictions recommended by the Maysville-Mason County Joint Planning Commission will prohibit large-scale wind turbines to be erected in the county, if adopted by city and county officials.
Board members agreed upon restrictions on large industrial wind turbines to include: turbines could only be located in areas of the county zoned rural industrial (I3); set back distances would be one mile, 5,280 feet, from property lines; property owners who sign agreements with wind energy companies would receive no waiver on the set back limitation; and sound levels would be restricted to 30 decibels or less.
The maximum height in every zone of the county will be 75 feet; setbacks will be 1.1 times the distance of the height of the structure from a structure; sound levels will be less than 30 DSA and less than 50 DBC.
On Friday, Mason County Judge-Executive James L. "Buddy" Gallenstein notified county commissioners and local media outlets of NextEra Energy Resources' decision to discontinue analysis of the possibility of constructing a wind energy project in Mason County. The news comes one week after Duke Energy Renewables notified officials of its intention to discontinue a wind energy project.
Within the letter, Howard states, "This purpose of this letter is to document Duke Energy Renewables' intent to discontinue the "Flemingsburg" wind project that was being studied for possible development in Mason and Fleming counties. We believe at this time, the project's likelihood of success is marginal."
An ordinance aimed at tighter control over construction of such structures as wind turbines was given final approval Tuesday by county officials.
According to a press release from the office of State Rep. Mike Denham, D-Maysville, a bill that would address local concerns with siting of windmill projects in Mason and Fleming counties cleared the House Tourism Development and Energy Committee Thursday. “What we tried to do was make sure that the siting board regulation applied to windmill projects,” said Denham, who is the sponsor of the bill.
The Ledger-Independent reports that Duke Energy Director of Business Management Graham Furlong told those who attended the meetings that the company is exploring the idea of building between 26 and 100 wind turbines in the area that could produce between 70 and 150 megawatts of energy.
Gallenstein asked if the Duke project is related to the NextEra wind farm project proposed two years ago in the Germantown area. Furlong said there is no partnership with NextEra and the two companies are competitors. Furlong was asked if this project is successful, would other turbines be built, to which he answered there could be others.
Questions about the project ranged from health concerns to the effect on livestock. Maysville Mayor David Cartmell said the biggest problem for him is aesthetics. "It's been likened to the ‘War of the Worlds', where you see those long-legged things out your back window," he said.
For the second month in a row, residents of May's Lick attended Tuesday's fiscal court meeting to express their opposition to and concerns about a potential wind farm in Mason County. Mike Averdick serves as spokesman for the citizens, who asked last month that a countywide moratorium on wind energy projects be implemented so that zoning, regulations and policies of such a project could be studied.
The Germantown Fair Company stockholders have voted against leasing land to a company proposing to erect wind turbines in Mason and Bracken counties.
NextEra Energy Resources, a Florida-based company, began conducting studies last year to determine if wind turbines could be feasible in Mason and Bracken counties. Tuesday, representatives from NextEra Energy were in Mason County meeting with local officials in an attempt to answer questions about the project.
A proposal by New Albany Floyd County Schools to spend up to $17.5 million to build windmills and sell the power they produce is likely dead, School Board President Roger Whaley said Wednesday. But the president of the company leading the windmill farm project said he wasn't giving up on the idea.
GE is getting government subsidies to build wind turbines and solar panels. And it supports legislation that would force customers to use them. Immelt has placed the company in the untenable position of not being able to succeed unless it takes something from someone else - in this case taxpayer money and freedom.