Library from Nebraska
Following concerns from rural residents when workers began digging to potentially build a wind turbine in the area, Gage County Planning and Zoning discussed why a building permit hasn’t been applied for. ...While it was stated work was to begin in 2016 to obtain higher tax credits, commission members were left wondering why Bluestem didn't get a building permit first, to prevent a waste of time and work if the permit isn’t approved down the line.
The power industry is in the midst of tectonic-level shifts, the heads of Nebraska's three largest electric utilities said Monday.
A national political group with a pro-renewable energy bent is pouring $50,000 into an ad campaign to unseat incumbent Fred Ulrich from the Omaha Public Power District board of directors.
The enticement of government-funded projects that exclude individual rights is causing a rift among Sandhills residents that may never heal. Infringement on landowner rights using eminent domain and endangering livelihoods by destroying our grasslands with this unnecessary construction project is offensive.
"And why am I furious? Because my house is here, and now there's going to be a wind turbine right here. And I don't want to look at it, I don't want to see this all the time, I don't want to hear it." Other residents voiced concerns that the turbines ...would lower their property values, hurt the environment and even pose health problems.
Christine McClain and her husband, Gary, bought land five months ago and spent their savings building a new home that will now be flanked by turbines. She said her dreams of a peaceful life in the country have been ruined. “Had I known this was going to happen, I would not have purchased my property. I’m furious."
After meeting into the wee hours Wednesday morning, the Cherry County Planning Commission recommended against approving a conditional use permit for a potential wind farm in the county.
A proposed wind farm in Kilgore could provide the state with renewable energy resources, but it's causing quite a stir in the Sandhills.
The Cherry County Planning Commission has recommended against approving a permit for a proposed wind farm.
In the service’s initial discussions with Bluestem, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service saw the proposed area as “relatively dry,” said Bob Harms, a fish and wildlife biologist. “At that time, we had less of a concern,” he said. Then he saw Semin’s eagle nest and many birds, including the sandhill cranes. “So we’re concerned,” he said.
Difference of opinion and varied interpretation of county regulations consumed the discussion following the report from Hankard Environmental on the Prairie Breeze wind farm noise study, on Tuesday, July 12.
The supervisors imposed several conditions on the project, such as increased setback distances and completion of a noise analysis within 24 months after the structures are erected.
The commission held a public hearing on the project Tuesday but decided to delay a vote on a conditional use permit until it could be determined whether the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, which operates the nearby Cowboy Trail, should have been informed of the meeting.
NELIGH — North Dakota to Texas is what Nebraska Farmers Union President John Hansen calls the wind energy “sweet spot.”
“Your (Antelope County) zoning regulations, regulating wind energy systems, were clearly drafted by developers,” said Hunzeker. “They do not, in my opinion, adequately represent non-participating property owners. In my opinion, this application should be placed on hold and should be sent back to the planning commission, pending a review of your ordinance for the purpose of protecting the health, safety and welfare of non-participating property owners.”
“People don't want to live next to that. They want the green energy but they don't want to live next to it,” she said. Daugherty said she doesn’t oppose wind power generally, but there are just too many people in her area for a wind farm. Standing on her front porch affords a view of agricultural fields for miles. “And [the view] was what attracted me to this spot,” Daugherty said. “You saw my living room there, I've got windows that look to the west. My vision wasn't looking at wind turbines.”
The bill (LB824) exempts private wind energy developers from having to apply with the Nebraska Power Review Board, which regulates the state's publicly owned utility industry.
A requirement that wind developers reach a power purchase agreement with out-of-state buyers represents one of the biggest hurdles to more rapid development in the state, said Sen. Ken Haar of Malcolm, who introduced the key language in the bill last year. The bill would strike that requirement along with other more minor regulations.
State Sen. Ken Schilz suggested during legislative floor debate last week that building more wind turbines on the rural landscape could help lighten the property tax load in Nebraska. As it turns out, what’s good for tax relief also could be good for the Ogallala senator.
Board member John Hill reiterated safety concerns previously expressed during numerous public hearings ...“As far as the study on the sound and the effects on humans, I guess at this point I’d rather be on the conservative side with the lower dBA. At some point in time you might look back and say well this doesn’t have to be this restrictive, but it will evolve. I think over time you will see some effects there.”