CORPUS CHRISTI –
Apex Clean Energy plans to re-submit a revised plan for the proposed Chapman Ranch Wind Farm to the Federal Aviation Administration, despite a ruling this month that states the turbines could be a hazard for aviation.
“We will seek to work with the FAA to ensure that airport operations are unaffected by the wind farm,” Dahvi Wilson with Apex Clean Energy told KRIS 6 News in a statement.
The FAA ruled that approximately half the turbines in the proposed plan would cause radar interference.
Wilson says the filing was submitted to the FAA before Apex Clean Energy withdrew all wind turbines in the blueprint from the new Corpus Christi City limits, after the city annexed the property.
“Our plans for the project layout have evolved, and a revised and much smaller layout, consisting of significantly fewer wind turbines, will be filed with the FAA at a later date,” Wilson says.
She added that Apex Clean Energy has reached an agreement with the Navy, which trains pilots near the area.
A spokesperson for Corpus Christi International Airport told KRIS 6 News the airport is concerned and monitoring the progress of the proposal, but they will follow the city’s lead.
A group of worried property owners in southern Nueces County have also come together to form Citizens For Responsible Growth, to resist the wind turbine development.
Shane Torno, a spokesperson for the organization, says land he owns at The Estates at Chapman Ranch would be surrounded on three sides by turbines under the current project plan.
“We designed this house for my young boys to enjoy being out in the country, and every year that we wait to build my boys get a year older,” Torno said. “We’re missing out on opportunities to enjoy our property out there.”
So far there is only one home in the gated community. Other property owners are waiting to learn if the wind farm will be approved before building.
“I would like to sell, but at this point the value has dropped so much,” Torno said. “It’s residential property that no one wants to build on.”
He fears Apex Clean Energy will move forward with the wind turbine development despite the FAA ruling and push back from several organizations.
“Our concern all along has not been the wind turbines, it’s been this location with the wind farm, which is just so close to the city,” Torno said. “With all the land available in the state of Texas, there are a lot of other opportunities.”
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