Library from Nebraska

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

Wind farm opponents organize

A group fighting the development of a 110-turbine wind farm was organized April 14 with 40 members. Early this week, the Bohemian Alps Wind Watchers counted more than 100 area landowners and residents who hope they can halt the Jubilee Wind Farm Project proposed by NEXTera Energy, LLC, before it gets a foothold, said John Stanner, one of the organizers.
21 Apr 2015

Steele Flats neighbor not impressed

Under these low wind speeds, a turbine creates sort of a “woosh.” And it seems like the wooshes will never end. “When the wind is in the west, we don’t hear it,” he said, referring to the turbine east of his farmstead. When the wind is blowing out of the east or south, “It’s almost like when you’ve got cars going by.”
8 Apr 2015

Wind meeting gathers 100 plus

To further educate the audience, organizers brought in Randy Saathoff, a livestock farmer, who lives in Steele Flats, the NextEra wind turbine project in Johnson and Gage counties. Saathoff, who did not sign a contract, lives a half mile away from the closest one. Most of what Saathoff said to the audience painted wind turbines in a grim light. He said the power is shut off without warning, sometimes for three hours, and NextEra maintenance employees do not let property owners know in advance when they will be on their land. “They drove across the bean field and left trash everywhere. They come and go whenever they want on your property. ...They’ll tell you what they want you to hear to get you to sign,” he said.
1 Apr 2015

Another meeting slated for wind farm

“There was an environmental expert at the meeting. We work closely with fish and wildlife, and game and parks,” Sullivan said. Bostelman said he asked about the environmental impact concerning eagles and was told by one NextEra representative, the setback was three to four miles, but another one told him it was 500 feet.
25 Mar 2015

Wind farm gets key permit

Stephanie Hamel, who lives near Rosemont and would have a turbine tower within 1,500 feet of her home, said she is getting nothing from NextEra but will live with the impacts of its project for the next 30 years or more. “I ask you to put yourself in my situation and ask yourself honestly what you would do,” Hamel said, addressing the commissioners. “Lonnie said he wouldn’t want to live in the project area. Would you guys?” 
19 Mar 2015

Sandhills power line: Scar on the land or gateway to more wind energy?

"It's going through the Sandhills and crossing several rivers that have a tremendous amount of fish and wildlife resources," said Bob Harms, a Wildlife Service biologist based in Grand Island. "It's unfragmented grasslands. It's a huge resource for migratory birds and threatened and endangered species." Some of the highest populations of the endangered American burying beetle in the U.S. are found along the route as well, he said.
8 Mar 2015
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