Volkswind USA, the company that wants to build a wind farm in southern Lancaster and northern Gage counties, withdrew a permit application for a wind turbine near Hallam and cancelled a planned public meeting on Wednesday.
Jeffrey Wagner, president of Volksvwind USA, had planned to brief 52 area landowners who have already signed agreements to lease their land for one or more wind turbines.
He invited neighbors to attend after some area residents voiced concerns at Monday’s village board meeting. Some said the wind turbines would be unsightly, noisy, cause health problems and lower their property values.
“Those opinions are certainly valuable but they don’t necessarily represent the overall view of this project,” Wagner said in a phone interview Wednesday afternoon.
He said the company will continue to “advance” the project.
However, Volkswind USA withdrew its special use permit application on Tuesday for a 160-acre parcel that would have placed a single wind turbine within Hallam’s one-mile zoning jurisdiction.
Wagner said the company has not withdrawn any other applications for permits.
Volkswind USA wants to build a wind farm on 7,000 acres in Lancaster County and 4,000 acres in Gage County. Applications have been submitted to the planning boards of both counties.
The company has submitted a bid to the Lincoln Electric System, asking it to buy the electricity that would be generated by the wind turbines.
Each of the 54 wind turbimes would be 436 feet tall, measured from the tip of a blade at its highest point to the ground.
LES wants to add up to 100 megawatts of wind power to its power generation portfolio and is currently reviewing proposals from developers.
Depending on its size, the project could cost between $150 million and $190 million. Wagner said it also would provide 200 construction jobs and about $700,000 in total tax benefits annually to both counties.
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