Library from Nebraska
few American industries would be more deeply damaged by the administration’s pending trade actions than the wind energy industry. ...The steady growth that has defined the wind energy industry over the last decade would slow dramatically as producers scramble to substitute tariffed components with significantly more expensive — and often unavailable — alternatives.
Plans for a wind farm in northern Gage and southern Lancaster counties that failed to materialize may be resurrected by a different company. The Blue Prairie Wind Project, an affiliate of NextEra Energy Resources, is proposing to build a wind energy generation facility in the two counties.
For the fifth consecutive monthly meeting, the Madison County Joint Planning Commission had people sitting in the hall and standing on Thursday. While Thursday’s meeting featured a long agenda, the majority of people who spoke discussed wind energy regulations.
Members of the Adams County Planning and Zoning Commission are looking to change the county’s wind energy regulations. ...All the counties also have similar regulations for commercial wind energy systems. However, towers in Adams County shall not exceed 300 feet for the tower and 400 feet for the entire structure.
Beyond concern for historic sites, Harms cited new information about the number of whooping cranes – also an endangered species – which use the area. And he mentioned landowners’ concerns that the line could encourage building wind turbines in the Sandhills, which many residents say would scar the land and spoil the view. So far, wind energy projects generating more than 1,000 megawatts of electricity, and requiring hundreds of turbines, are on a list of potential tie-ins to the R-Project.
For more than 50 years, Carolyn Semin has treasured the black nighttime skies in the Nebraska Sandhills dotted with twinkling stars. "People come from all over the world to look at it, especially at Merritt Reservoir for the annual Star Party," she says.
The regulations that were approved establish a set of rules more stringent than state regulations. At earlier county board meetings, it was disclosed that some landowners in the county had been approached by two wind energy companies seeking easements.
"We live one mile and one-third from the closest wind turbine, and I'm sensitive to low-frequency sounds, so we purchased a decibel meter. Many nights we have a southeast wind, which is the prevailing wind, it sounds like a jet plane revving but the plane never, of course, takes off," Vickie paused, getting emotional and teary, "So, we pay to stay at a hotel in town."
The writer, who lives in Cloverdale, California, is a native of Mullen, Nebraska. He is a longtime energy auditor who is now retired.
On Wednesday, the Cherry County Board of Commissioners voted 2 to 1 to reject recommendations by the county's planning and zoning board in regards to wind energy.
State Sen. Tom Brewer, a Republican who represents the scenic Sand Hills region in northwestern Nebraska, said he’s willing to reintroduce a bill from last year that would have imposed a two-year moratorium on wind development in the region.
Supporters of a proposal that wind energy developers warn would severely restrict economic development in rural Nebraska said they’re not being heard by their local elected officials. So they pleaded their case to state lawmakers.
Supporters of wind energy in Northeast Nebraska might feel like they are going against the wind after action taken Monday in two counties.
A vast majority were against any wind development. “You're going to destroy our environment with tall, massive wind turbines so (people in Omaha) can feel comfortable,” Stanton resident Tony Wortman said. “Do they put wind turbines in Omaha? Do you put wind turbines in Stanton? No, but you'll go out in the country and you'll irritate a neighbor… so bad that they're talking about moving. ”
Sound levels and setbacks continued to be problematic for the Antelope County Board of Commissioners when adopting changes to and approving a resolution for zoning regulations at the commissioners board meeting Tuesday, Nov. 7.
PIERCE — Outside of a 15-minute presentation at the beginning of a public hearing on Thursday, Nov. 2, Pierce County Commissioners heard virtually no one from the public speak in support of allowing wind turbines in the county or the proposed amendments to Pierce County zoning regulations covering wind energy.
Sen. Tom Brewer plans to introduce a bill next legislative session to place a two-year moratorium to block wind development in the Sandhills. “There's a mad rush right now to build wind turbines in the Sandhills and common sense cannot put a corner-post line and not have put in a dead man to anchor it," Brewer said. "So why would you build a 5,60-foot tower in sand and not question the wisdom behind that?"
Approval or any other action on proposed wind-farm regulations in Pierce County could come as soon as two weeks. Then again, it could be later.
Hines and Harms both reiterated that Fish and Wildlife could only make recommendations to NPPD, but that ultimately it was NPPD that decided the route for the transmission line. “We suggested two alternate routes that would have minimal environmental impact,” Harms said. “NPPD came back and said those routes wouldn’t work because of the cost involved.”