The plan to construct nearly 70 wind turbines in Ulysses and Hector Townships has been scrapped. According to Jim Hoopes, a leaseholder in the project, letters were sent out recently by AES Corporation, the company planning to build the facilities, terminating the rental agreements. Hoopes said about 25 landowners had rental agreements.
“AES has run into stone walls since we started on this in 2005,” said Hoopes. “Everybody wants to growl about pollution, but then they turn down a proposed clean energy project. There’s got to be more to this county than tourism. I am proud to have been part of trying to bring clean energy development here.”
Hoopes said that although AES finally got the permits about a year ago that they needed to proceed, it came at a time when electric prices have dropped considerably because of deregulation. “It’s no longer feasible to do this project, with today’s prices,” said Hoopes.
The project, which faced strong opposition from a group calling themselves “Save God’s Country,” had underwent a long and arduous process through the various regulatory channels of the county for nearly eight years. In 2008, the Potter County Planning Commission passed recommendations for changes to the county’s Subdivision & Land Development Ordinance (SALDO) concerning setbacks, noise, shadow flicker, liability and decommissioning of industrial wind turbines that effectively made the project unsustainable.
For the rest of the story, see the Mar. 12 issue of the Leader-Enterprise.
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