A Virginia company that wanted to build more than 170 wind turbines near Chapman Ranch is once again seeking clearance for a wind farm from the Federal Aviation Administration.
This time, its scope is smaller.
Apex Clean Energy has filed “notices for proposed construction” with the FAA for 86 wind turbines in recent weeks, administration records show. Applications for another 58 wind turbines near Petronila also are being reviewed.
Each wind turbine would measure about 500 feet tall, according to the company’s application.
Officials for the Corpus Christi International Airport are concerned about the potential risks for air traffic, just as they were a year ago, when a larger, denser plan was introduced.
Earlier plans for a 175-turbine wind farm drew criticism last year from Chapman Ranch residents who were concerned about diminishing property values, safety and changes to the area’s aesthetics. Those plans were submitted to the FAA before Apex voluntarily withdrew all wind turbines in the blueprint from the new Corpus Christi City limits, after the city annexed the property last year.
A study determined the project could interfere with radar.
Members of the Corpus Christi International Airport Board will be updated on Apex’s latest applications at their next meeting, airport spokeswoman Kim Bridger-Hunt said.
In a statement, Apex said it is following all pertinent federal guidelines to build the facilities, and that it has been working with the FAA to ensure that turbines won’t adversely affect nearby airports or airspace. The FAA is currently reviewing a turbine layout to assess the potential of any airspace hazard.
Dahvi Wilson, an Apex spokeswoman, said construction wouldn’t begin until an FAA-approved plan is in place to mitigate hazards to the agency’s satisfaction.
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