Articles from Kansas
Gov. Sam Brownback joined business and legislative leaders Monday to unveil legislation transforming the state’s mandate to expand renewable energy into a voluntary goal and to reset tax policy for developers of power production facilities.
County commissioners amended the regulations in March by reducing the minimum distance between a wind turbine tower and a leaseholder’s residence from 1,320 feet to 500 feet. The petition filed by Wildcat Creek Ranch alleges the change unreasonably increases safety risks to property owners in and around wind farms.
Kansas companies that produce energy from wind, solar or other renewable resources would lose their property tax exemption under a bill discussed by a Senate panel Monday. Such companies have been exempt from property tax since 1999. A bill discussed by the Senate Assessment and Taxation Committee would instead give those companies a 10-year exemption starting with the launch date of each project.
CU has an agreement with Smoky Hills Wind Project to purchase wind energy, but Smoky Hills says a series of “curtailments” caused CU to buy less energy and for Smoky Hills to receive less value in tax benefits.
"At this time, there is no threat to residents around the project, but we ask that all keep a safe distance from the affected turbine so that our safety personnel may conduct assessments and take any required actions as safely and quickly as possible."
It's unclear what caused a wind turbine in Haskell County to collapse on Monday, but the owner of the Buffalo Dunes wind farm says an investigation is underway. ...Completed last December, Buffalo Dunes 250-megawatt wind farm includes 135 GE wind turbines spread over 40,000 acres of land.
Brownback calls himself a strong supporter of wind energy because of its potential on the frequently gusty Plains, but he said in July that he’s open to phasing out the state’s rule because wind is no longer a fledgling industry in Kansas. He’s also called several times for the industry and opponents of the renewable-energy mandate to work out a compromise.
Investigators were called in to determine what happened. The company says it's too early to tell if it was caused by strong winds.
St. Louis-based wind farm developer Wind Capital Group LLC is looking to sell its remaining wind farms as its Ireland-based parent shifts focus to Europe.
A 750-mile interstate power line promises to deliver wind-generated electricity to Columbia at nearly half the price the city now pays. But the savings cannot be certain until the line is built and contracts are proposed.
An issue raised in the dispute was a property reclassification of wind turbine sites that increased the assessed ad valorem tax on those properties. The wind farm argued it was being taxed, even though the county assessed the higher taxes only to landowners.
A state representative and a senator told a Wichita Republican audience Friday that they think they’ll have more success next year in repealing a law that requires Kansas public utilities to get some of their power from wind.
Taking land for the public good is one thing, landowners named in an eminent domain hearing said, but they suspect the power is being abused to benefit investors in other states.
Gayle said he started taking a hard look at the project after hearing a presentation by developer Rex Savage at a Florence City Council meeting. “There’s a lot of loose ends here, a lot of questions to be answered,” Gayle said.
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.
Much of the spending on the issue came from Americans for Prosperity, whose session-long bid to repeal the standards ended with the House's 60-63 vote on the last day of the session, May 2.
You cannot deliver wind energy standalone — rather, it must “merge” into existing base load, whatever the source. That merging and “demerging,” when the wind dies suddenly, presents special grid-balancing challenges to base-load providers, which adds to the cost of electricity.
Disappointment and frustration, that’s how city commissioners describe the challenge of what was supposed to be a money-saver for citizens of El Dorado. Instead, commissioners say its been a series of trial and error trying to get it to work consistently.
“I can’t think of an industry that is better connected politically in getting favors from the state and federal government than wind energy, ethanol and all the green energies.” said Christine Harbin Hanson, of the Americans for Prosperity.
Among the regulars are pelicans, wood ducks, trumpeter swans, blue-winged teals, sandhill cranes, blue herons, snow geese and smaller shorebirds such as the killdeer. After a layover, they ride the updraft from wind hitting the nearby Loess Hills, formed thousands of years ago from wind-blown soil. Now a company wants to capture that same wind by building Missouri’s largest wind farm nearby.