Less than one week after military and federal officials announced an agreement with the developer of a proposed wind farm in Kleberg County, commissioners approved a resolution in opposition to it and similar projects.
Pct. 1 Commissioner David Rosse said he felt the wind farm project has the potential to endanger the mission at Naval Air Station-Kingsville, as well as impacting the quality of life of residents in Riviera.
Rosse said although he is a firm believer in the rights of property owners who have leased land to the wind farm, he cannot ignore the fact that smaller landowners in Riviera would be negatively affected by the installation of more than 80 wind turbines as the project’s developer, Texas Wind Group LP, has outlined.
“Those people are being imposed on and they get not a dollar, no kind of compensation at all,” Rosse said.
The resolution adopted by the Kleberg County Commissioners Court is not legally binding, but county officials said it is meant to send a message to the project’s developer and others considering new wind farms that they are not welcome in Kleberg County.
“Too many small (landowners) are going to be hurt by this thing,” Rosse said.
Pct. 3 Commissioner Roy Cantu said he was concerned at the developer’s desire to put the wind farm in a populated area.
“It’s obvious there was not a lot of forethought put into this process,” Cantu said.
County Judge Juan Escobar said the wind farm would also be a hazard to the county’s road system, since large and heavy equipment would need to be transported throughout Riviera once construction begins. He said he was concerned that the developer has not reached out to the county to address that issue.
“They’re going to be destroyed,” he said of the county roads.
Rosse said he was frustrated at the fact that the wind farm has been able to move forward without involving the public through either hearings or town hall meetings.
“Make it a legitimate process…and not just a rubber stamp because you want to do green energy,” he said.
The U.S. Navy announced an agreement last week with the developer of the Riviera wind farm, citing concessions made by the developer to arrange the turbines in a manner that would limit any impact to the base’s radar system and flight operations. Texas Wind Group will also pay $500,000 for technical upgrades to NAS-Kingsville’s radar system.
The City of Kingsville last month also passed a resolution in opposition to wind farm projects.
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