Library from Nebraska

Richardson and Oak Creek townships approve wind turbine regulations

In Brainard, loud cheers accompanied the announcement of votes of 114-3, 114-1 and 113-1 for the three different decisions. Two regulations have been passed: The first bans the placement of high voltage power lines under township property. The other places a 1,640 setback requirement from any property not associated with the wind farm development and also from township roads, and it also limits the noise created by the turbines during overnight hours.
17 Sep 2015

Wind tax credit not best use of the money

Presently wind energy developers are free to build wind farms in Nebraska after going through the Power Review Board process. The push for wind tax credits is powered by greed and fueled by money from special interest lobbyists (the lobbyist cartoon under the wind-tax editorial was very apt). Developers want the taxpayers, through tax credits, to pay for 25 percent  of the estimated $2.5 million cost of each wind turbine, thus guaranteeing the investors an immediate profit.
17 Sep 2015

Savannah, Skull Creek townships approve wind turbine regulations

Jan BBostelman, who described her 35 years of experience as an engineer in the power industry, said the safety regulations need to be based on the worst case scenarios of turbine failures. Dan Schmid of Dwight spoke in support of the regulations. He said European countries are much more experienced in wind development and they have larger setback distances. Germany, for example, is creating setbacks of 1,000 meters, about double the distance set in the local regulations.
16 Sep 2015

Regulating wind turbines now a township issue

By a 3-1 margin, township voters approved limitations on the development of turbines within the township that surrounds David City on the north, east and south sides. ...Residents also voted 33-11 to require 1,640-foot setbacks between the turbines and the nearest township road and any nearby property whose owner is not part of the development. The regulation also placed limits on the noise created by turbines during overnight hours.
13 Sep 2015

Crony Capitalism threatens the rights of rural property owners

A home should be an owner’s castle and free from intruders, especially when that unwanted guest comes as a result of self-serving government interests. Crony capitalism in the Nebraska Legislature is threatening the health, security, and property rights of many Nebraskans. Policymakers must stop prioritizing these out-of-state wind developers at the expense of taxpayers and property owners.
2 Sep 2015

The sound of the rural wind

Scott Holmes, manager of the environmental health division of the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department, cited research showing that the nature of wind turbine noise makes it more annoying than noise from aircraft, trains or traffic on roads. The rotation of the big blades produces a swoosh, thump and silence. The uneven, pulsating sounds repeatedly capture attention and are difficult to ignore, one researcher wrote. The circumstances call for the Lancaster County Board to give considerable weight to the pleas of rural homeowners as it enacts regulations on wind turbines.
1 Sep 2015

Backers of wind power, solar seek tax credits

Opponents argued that the state shouldn't subsidize wind energy and contended the bill would cut into state revenue by allowing wind farms to sell their tax credits to other profit-making businesses to generate cash. Some criticized the turbines as an eyesore in rural areas and complain about the whooshing and thumping noises made by the spinning blades.
23 Aug 2015

War over wind energy far from over

On Wednesday night, the nine members of the Lincoln/Lancaster County Planning Commission recommended approval of the proposed rules on a 5-4 vote, after rolling back sound limits and doing away with a daily limit on the amount of time flickering shadows cast by turbine blades can pass over neighboring houses. ...The move disappointed Hallam and Cortland area property owners. They had wanted the noise limits to remain at 40 decibels in the day and 37 at night, numbers that were recommended by the Lincoln/Lancaster County Health Department.
21 Aug 2015

Planners amend wind turbine rules

The noise turbines make cannot be compared to other sounds, like a stream or the hum of a refrigerator, which also are around 40 decibels. “It’s more annoying to people than other sounds at the same levels,” he said. It’s unique. Multiple turbines, even if in sync, combine to make a modulating pulsing swoosh and thump, plus a whirring sound, a hum from the transformer substation and infrasound below human hearing.
20 Aug 2015

New zoning regulations for wind farms revealed

The proposed regulations address noise and health issues from wind turbines, as well as setback requirements from homes and property, lighting and decommissioning of towers. Stephen Henrichsen, the department's development review manager, said comments will be reviewed before final regulations are presented to the Planning Commission for a public hearing in August. No date has been set.
13 Jun 2015

County may enhance wind regulations

Lancaster County is expected to adopt new wind farm regulations restrictive enough they may prevent future developments, and Gage County will likely follow suit. The County Board of Supervisors discussed regulations at its regular meeting this week. The proposed changes are the result of joint meetings with Lancaster County officials first held in March.
29 May 2015

OSHA investigating wind farm construction death near Elgin

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration's Omaha office has opened an investigation into the report of a worker's death, Wednesday, May 27th. The 40-year-old temporary worker was working for Wanzek Construction, Inc., which is constructing the Prairie Breeze Wind Energy Center for Invenergy near Elgin, Nebraska.
29 May 2015

Local wind farm discussion continues

"Our concern is that they're trying to place them quite close to our homes and we were worried about the sound that's emitted by them," Cindy Chapman said. She is a member of a coalition against Volkswind. Current zoning laws say the turbines must at least 1000 ft away from the property line of any home not involved in the project. It also requires they not exceed noise level of 35 decibels.
28 May 2015

Nebraska renewable energy tax credit bill sparks debate

But opponents questioned whether the state would see a direct benefit from such projects. Sen. Paul Schumacher of Columbus criticized the proposed use of transferable tax credits for wind farms. The transferable credits could be sold other companies at a discount, allowing the wind company to generate cash while the purchasing company lowers its tax liability. Schumacher submitted an amendment that would allow companies to sell their tax credits at only a maximum 3 percent discount.
22 Apr 2015
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