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Osage County commissioners to revisit wind farm plan

PAWHUSKA – Osage County Commissioners will consider Monday morning whether to enact a law to regulate the development of wind farms, two of which are planned in the tallgrass prairie west of Pawhuska.

The ordinance, more than six months in the making, drew criticism at a recent public hearing, when requests by the Nature Conservancy, the U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Osage Nation and several others for stricter rules went unheeded by the Pawhuska-Osage County Planning and Zoning Commission.

The planning board listened to 90 minutes of suggestions and criticism of the three-page ordinance, then voted unanimously to adopt it as written.

Two companies – TradeWind Energy of Kansas and Wind Capital Group of Missouri – each intend to spend between $200 million and $300 million to build 150-megawatt wind farms east of Pawhuska on the prairie.

At 1.5 megawatts per turbine, that would amount to 200 turbines for the two wind farms. TradeWind’s wind farm would occupy 20,000 acres, spokesman Aaron Weigle said.

The meeting is at 10 a.m. at the Osage County Courthouse, 600 Grandview Ave. in Pawhuska.