Library filed under General from Kansas
Conclusion: the wind industry in Kansas, its existence and survival, is purely political in nature. It exists only because of government mandate and significant government subsidy. Isn’t it time to move from the political to the analytical? It’s not simple; It’s not free; It’s expensive; It’s complicated.
“The first time was about two weeks ago,” said the substation’s site manager, Tony Nikabadze. “It was on a Friday. We had all the tools and equipment stored in two trailers. The thieves cut the chains on the doors of the trailer and stole a welder and power tools.” This past weekend thieves struck the site again,” Nikabadze said.
Commissioners are expected to vote on a home rule resolution imposing a moratorium on large wind energy systems when they meet at 4 p.m. Wednesday at the county courthouse. The proposed moratorium would run through April 30, 2014. Douglas County currently does not have development codes that specifically deal with wind farms.
In a registered letter delivered to many residents in the area today, Iberdrola Renewables, LLC said, "A variety of circumstances have led the company to the conclusion that it cannot move forward with developing the wind resources on the Property. As such, pursuant to the terms of the Agreement, Iberdrola Renewables, LS is terminating the Agreement effective July 20, 2013.
The Board approved the resolution to make the change at the April Board meeting. None of the county application requirements have changed but the process for developing a wind energy plan has been modified from a one-step to a two-step process, Moore said.
This newspaper has argued that the PTC created jobs. That is wrong. It displaced jobs elsewhere, and it is a net destroyer of American jobs because it raised the price of energy for manufacturers. All the companies that must then pay higher electric bills have less money left over to hire employees and grow their enterprises, and consumers have less money to spend as they see fit.
The biggest cuts will come in Fort Madison, where 407 workers at a wind turbine blade factory will be out of work. About 220 workers there will be retained. The company blamed difficult market conditions due to lack of congressional action on a wind energy tax credit as well as increased use of natural gas-fired power plants and an overall sluggish economy.
Siemens, a German conglomerate, announced Tuesday it is laying off 146 employees at its wind turbine nacelle plant in Hutchinson, leaving just 152 employees there. All told, 615 employees in Siemens' wind power business will lose their jobs. Siemens said the change would primarily affect employees in Iowa, Kansas and Florida.
Commissioners unanimously approved the recommendation of the Ellis County Planning and Zoning Commission for a conditional-use permit for Fort Hays State University to construct two wind turbines, contingent upon meeting several requirements. The project for two 2.1 megawatt Suzlon turbines.
Wind turbines interfere with agriculture, especially with aerial application of herbicides, pesticides and fungicides, he said. Another detractor is this area's location on a major fall migratory route for whooping cranes, an endangered species.
At 110 feet, the windmills on a hill south of the campus have been deemed too tall by the Federal Aviation Administration. The chance of losing $1 million in federal grants has prompted the college to take action that could cost up to $150,000. The FAA informed the college roughly a year ago that the windmills are in Blosser Municipal Airport's airspace.
Despite an incentive agreement that references it, Mars Chocolate North America won't construct a wind turbine for its Topeka site. That is because having a wind turbine on the Kanza Fire Commerce Park would interfere with the airspace of nearby Forbes Field.
"The Sandsage Prairie is an ecosystem that is very fragile, and impacting it in a large way could have an impact on the species that depend on that ecosystem," Barton said, adding that two species in particular are the longnose snake and the lesser prairie-chicken.
Commercial wind energy projects will require a "special use" permit, which does not authorize construction of the project until the applicant (developer) has obtained a power purchase agreement for the electricity to be generated.
"Unless Indeck intends to commence construction before the moratorium expires and the county rejects your request for a suspension of the moratorium, the moratorium will have no effect on Indeck," said Hughes. "Thus, threats of litigation over any loss caused by the moratorium are premature and they are ill-founded."
The letter urged commissioners to withdraw the moratorium on wind farm generators in the county or, at a minimum, to suspend its effect on properties included in the Wildcat Wind Farm Project.
Marked by neighbor disputes, county zoning regulations and economic recession, Ellis County remains a county without active wind energy development. Production tax credits are set to expire in 2012, and Kansas' largest wind farm now is taking shape in southern Kansas.
"This court cannot know how much electricity would be generated from Wabaunsee County wind, and eventually kept out of the interstate power grid, if there were no board prohibition against (commercial wind farms)," Nuss wrote. "This type of information would be relevant (to further analysis)."
Carrick said he is concerned about his cattle because workers drive through his pastures, causing ruts in the field. He said now he is finding large holes that have not been filled. "We don't want to see the land destroyed," said Michael Carrick, landowner.
The commissioners' motion claims the development of land for utility scale wind energy production, prior to the adoption of zoning regulations, will threaten the utility and integrity of subsequently adopted zoning regulations, and creates risk of injury to public welfare.