Articles from Nebraska
County commissioners, the county itself and BSH Kilgore LLC filed answers Monday to a lawsuit by wind-farm opponents seeking to overturn an Oct. 29, 2019, County Board vote granting BSH a conditional use permit.
Northern Gage County residents won a long battle today, as the Gage County Board approved an amendment increasing the setback between wind turbines and non-participating rural homes, to one mile.
The amendment increases setback requirements from nonparticipating residences from 3/8 to one mile. Nonparticipating residents are those who do not have contracts in place with a wind company. The Gage County Planning and Zoning committee previously approved the resolution in a 6-1 vote in August, after a six hour meeting.
Kendra Monroe, of rural Cortland, said an online survey indicated residents support the setback change. The five-question survey included 555 respondents, who did not have to give their names. "Out of those 555 responses, there were 490 residents...or 88.3%...who voted in favor of the one-mile setback...and 65 residents, or 11.7%..who were okay with the current setback".
Setting clear zoning that allows communities to capture the full benefits of wind energy development without burdening residents is key to bring clean energy and new economic opportunities to rural America.
The final public hearing was held Wednesday evening for a highly-contested proposal to change Gage County’s wind regulations, effectively ending plans for a wind farm in the northern portion of the county. The proposed amendment would increase setback requirements for commercial wind turbines from nonparticipating residences from 3/8 of a mile to one mile.
It’s a controversial project…one that ultimately will be decided by the Gage County Board, if a permit application is filed. A proposed wind farm in northern Gage County could be constructed, but first, county officials will deal with whether or not the wind tower setback requirement from non-participating rural homeowners will be increased, to one mile.
People all over Nebraska are waking up to the truth about wind energy. It is not “green” or good for the environment. It slaughters wildlife and is near impossible to dispose of at the end of their service life. Wind energy isn’t “free” either.
A group of Gage County residents is one step closer to getting setbacks increased for commercial wind turbines after a proposal was approved by Gage County Planning and Zoning Thursday evening. The proposal, which would increase setback requirements from nonparticipating residences from 3/8 to one mile, will now be considered by the Gage County Board of Supervisors for final approval. Nonparticipating residents are those who do not have contracts in place with a wind company.
The Gage County Planning and Zoning Commission voted 6-1 to recommend that the setback distance between wind towers and non-participating rural homes be increased from the current three-eighths of a mile, to one mile. The proposed amendment also calls for independent testing regarding sound levels produced by wind farms.
Permits for wind energy will not be accepted by Gage County after the Board of Supervisors approved a moratorium on turbine meetings during Wednesday’s meeting. The moratorium, initially proposed two weeks ago for a period of four months, was amended before approval this week and will now last for the next three months. ...A primary concern is increasing current setback requirements that stipulate turbines must be 3/8 miles from residences. The group is asking that figure to be increased to one mile.
The Denver judge said Fish and Wildlife’s order granting the permit didn’t review possible routes to avoid O’Fallon’s Bluff, despite saying in its final environmental impact statement that running electrical lines over it would have “a long-term, high-intensity indirect (visual, auditory and atmospheric) effect.” Thousands of wagons on the Oregon-California Trail crossed the bluff from 1843 to 1866, cutting deep dips that remain today. It parallels Interstate 80 to the south between Sutherland and Hershey.
On Wednesday, U.S. District Judge William Martinez revoked a federal permit that would have allowed the Nebraska Public Power District to kill or severely disturb the endangered American burying beetle as a consequence of building its R-Line project.
On the agenda for the board's meeting is a moratorium that would prohibit "... all applications, installations and projects involving wind energy systems until such time that the Board has amended regulations in place to ensure the protection of the public health, safety and welfare ..." of Dakota County citizens. ...The subject of a moratorium arose earlier this year as the county amended its zoning ordinances pertaining to wind energy systems, board chairman Martin Hohenstein said.
According to the lawsuit, NPPD was trying to use Global Investment Partners' 2018 acquisition of the wind farms and other assets from NRG Energy, as well as NRG Energy's 2014 acquisition of the assets from their original owner, as the basis for the contract termination, claiming that they constituted a default under terms of the power purchase agreements.
Hanover held a public hearing on March 9 for proposed Local Law No. 1 of 2020 to regulate the construction, maintenance and placement of solar energy systems and equipment at the Hanover Town Hall. Both sides were heard — the solar company and their supporters, along with some residents of Hanover who are unhappy with the idea of solar coming into the town.
Gage County’s Planning Commission will conduct a public hearing on possible wind farm rule changes, governing tower setback and noise limits. The commission voted 6-1 to move ahead with that step, hearing from a packed county board room during a public comment period, Tuesday night. Well over 100 people attended... in the county supervisors room, an adjoining room, the hallway outside and across the hall at the county clerk’s office.
"While we understand their property rights, there's also a point where it affects our property. We also have rights on our property,"she said. "If they are too close to our property lines it inhibits our ability to build on our property. We all have different concerns. Mine is not having a tower 1,000-1,500 feet from my home, not my property line. That's too close." She brought up concerns about noise.
Faced with the prospect of a wind farm south of North Platte, county officials are considering tougher requirements to decommission wind turbines, Lincoln County Zoning Administrator Judy Clark told the county commissioners Monday. Proposed revisions have been unanimously approved by the planning commission. One provision would require a wind farm developer to post financial assurance that the turbines will be removed when that time comes.
A pre-trial hearing concerning a civil lawsuit against Saline County and seven wind farm entities was held Jan. 15 at the Gage County courthouse in Beatrice.