Library from Nebraska
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.”
“When it’s all said and done and the suits are all gone and the pockets will be lined, where does that leave us?” asked JoJen Allder of rural Cortland. “We’ll be surrounded by these noisy, ugly turbines with lower property rights and health issues. I want to be able to live and retire in my home, work in the garden, fish in the pond and gaze at the stars.”
Legislation attempting to remove restrictions placed on the development of wind energy in Nebraska appears to be stalled in committee, although an effort is underway to circumvent the usual path and advance the bill to a floor debate.
Why are they so determined to force industrial wind turbines into every Nebraska county with no regard for the property rights of those who do not wish to live beneath them?
A coalition of business, labor and civic leaders called on Lancaster County leaders to approve policies that will allow wind energy development. The group has begun collecting signatures for a petition that expresses support for “balanced policies that allow wind development" in Lancaster County.
Some area residents used the informational meeting to express their displeasure with the first phase of the wind farm project. “If this project is so wonderful, why was it done under the table?” asked Charles Moser.
Area residents concerned recently-recommended wind energy regulations aren’t restrictive enough spoke at the Gage County Board of Supervisor’s meeting Wednesday. Five people spoke during the public hearing portion of the meeting, all in favor of more restrictive regulations.
The Gage County Planning Commission has forwarded revised regulations governing wind farms, to the county’s board of supervisors. Following a public hearing last night, the commission agreed to establish a sound limit on wind turbine noise affecting non-participating landowners in a project, at 47 decibels, with leeway for ambient sound.
The wind of public opinion may have shifted toward the end of another long public hearing Tuesday to consider a proposed wind farm near here. The hearing Tuesday afternoon included countless points made by supporters and opponents of the Upstream Wind Energy project on top of those already made Jan. 19 when the public hearing began before the Antelope County Planning Commission.
A negotiated proposal to spur private development of wind energy in Nebraska was presented to the Legislature's Natural Resources Committee on Wednesday with the Nebraska Public Power District on board.
The bill would eliminate a requirement that the developer have a purchasing power agreement in place before a project could be approved by the Nebraska Power Review Board. ...opponents say a faster approval process could create an influx of power that would oversaturate the grid, cause massive congestion and increase prices for rate-payers.
In October, after six townships passed regulations limiting wind turbine development, the County Board sent a letter to notify all of the county’s 17 townships that the new regulations exceeded the townships’ authority. ...Even though the County Board and the townships are at odds on the policy, there doesn’t appear to be any pressing need to settle the matter.
A nearly yearlong effort to update wind regulations in Lancaster County ended Tuesday when county leaders approved regulations that wind-energy supporters say will discourage projects in the county. County commissioners Roma Amundson, Deb Schorr and Larry Hudkins approved the regulations, while commissioners Bill Avery and Todd Wiltgen voted against them.
In a vote that could affect wind farm development elsewhere in Nebraska, the Lancaster County Board on Tuesday adopted tough new noise restrictions on wind turbines. The restrictions prohibit wind turbines from generating more than 40 decibels of noise during the day — about what’s generated by a household refrigerator — as measured at nearby residences.
Lancaster County now has new restrictions regarding wind farms and potential wind energy projects. The Lancaster County Board voted 3-2 for more restrictive regulations on Tuesday. Volkswind, a German Independent Power Producer, is attempting to build more than fifty wind turbines in Southeastern Lancaster and Gage County.
Sen. Ken Haar includes much misleading information in “The death of opportunity by over-regulation” (Local View, LJS, Nov.4).
Most of the site’s neighbors are on the fence, waiting until construction is complete before deciding how they feel about it. Their concerns are the same as Gronenthal’s — whether there will be light and noise pollution and interference with phone, radio and television signals. Paul Gronenthal also is upset that the property owner did not disclose the plans for the site before construction began.
County health officials said that due to “gaps” in knowledge about health impacts, the county should be conservative in its regulations. It suggested limits of 40 decibels during the day and 37 decibels at night for wind turbines, as measured from nearby dwellings. That compared to a recommendation by the county planning commission of 50 decibels during the day and 42 decibels at night.