Articles from Nebraska
PIERCE — After making a number of changes to proposed wind turbine zoning regulations for Pierce County, the County Planning and Zoning Commission approved a motion recommending those regulations be approved by the Pierce County Board of Commissioners.
The construction of a larger 30 megawatt capacity wind project in the same general area northwest of Kimball where a decommissioned wind project has existed in the past will triple the amount of power generated.
In between a morning briefing marked by vehement anti-wind sentiment and an afternoon hearing for a study on public power ordered by the Nebraska Legislature’s Natural Resources Committee, opponents on the Capitol steps protested wind farms and a 225-mile electric transmission project planned to traverse the Sand Hills.
Committee member Bruce Bostelman of Brainard said he had personally fought the battle three years and had lived a lot their stories. "We need to be smart about it. If we're going to use renewables (energy), fine. Let's do them in the right place, at the right time, with input from the people who live there," he said.
Much of the discussion by commission members centered around set-backs, how far away wind towers would be set back from existing buildings and houses. There was also discussion about the costs of decommissioning the towers, how the costs to remove them would be covered and by whom, should the towers be abandoned 15-20 years in the future.
The collusion between wind energy and government disgusts me. If the Federal Production Tax Credit for wind energy didn’t exist, you would not see another industrial wind energy turbine built. As Warren Buffet said, “….on wind energy, we get a tax credit if we build a lot of wind farms. That's the only reason to build them. They don't make sense without the tax credit."
Marvin said the new measurement for setback distances would be measured from the center of the base of the turbine instead of the center of the hub. The commission targeted change in the setback distance. Currently, turbines must be 2,000 feet from the residence of a non-participating landowner. The new regulations require a 2,700 ft. distance.
Monday’s nearly 3½ hour public hearing on zoning regulations nearly wrapped up without much comment on the wind turbines.
LAWRENCE — A wind power project with up to 130 turbines generating enough electricity to power 110,000 U.S. homes could be in store for northwest Nuckolls County.
NextEra Energy, owner of the Steele Flats wind farm in southern Nebraska, has suffered at least four wind turbine calamities in recent weeks, including broken blades, a fire and a collapse.
News reports indicate wind turbines collapse regularly in the U.S. and elsewhere. One county in eastern Michigan had two topple in one week last year. ...Ethan Thorp, 27, of Steele City, went out to see the downed wind turbine near Diller ...he's grateful the tower and turbine came down in the cornfield during the early morning hours. "You’d hate to be out there spraying" in the field if a turbine collapsed.
STANTON — The people who gathered Tuesday night at the Stanton County fairgrounds were there to listen — or to voice their opinions — just like the Stanton County Commissioners asked.
BEATRICE – One of the wind turbine towers in the Steele Flats Wind Farm near Diller, has collapsed. The tower is a half-mile west of Nebraska Highway 103 and one mile north of Nebraska Highway 8. The tower is part of the $138 million wind farm, developed by Florida-based NextEra Energy Resources, which includes 32 wind turbines in southeast Jefferson County and 12 more in southwest Gage County.
Sen. Tom Brewer of Gordon told a legislative committee on Wednesday that disputes about wind energy development in the Sandhills are "tearing communities apart," dividing neighbors and families and even spawning death threats. ...The bill was endorsed by representatives of the Nebraska Wildlife Federation, the Audubon Society and the Nature Conservancy and sparked testimony from a parade of supporters who journeyed to Lincoln from the Sandhills for the morning hearing.
A controversial proposal for a wind farm in Nebraska’s scenic Sand Hills was shot down by the Cherry County Board on Monday. ...Johnson said that the backers of the wind farm must now decide how to proceed.
Today’s vote might not be the last word on the Kilgore project. One member of the three-member Cherry County Board, Jim Van Winkle, is a member of Cherry County Wind. He recused himself from the recent public hearing and probably will not vote today. That presents the possibility of a tie vote, which would send the wind farm back to the drawing board.
About 100 people attended and 50 people spoke during a four-hour meeting Wednesday night at Valentine High School about a proposed wind farm in Cherry County. The public hearing preceded a county board vote on a conditional use permit, scheduled for 4 p.m. Dec. 19 at the Cherry County Courthouse.
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.