Elm Springs could be home to the state’s first wind farm and debut site of a first-of-its-kind turbine design. But some neighbors in the area don’t want the project in their backyard.
Jonathon Hamby heads up the “Stop the Elm Springs Wind Farm” group, which has more than 500 likes on its Facebook group. He lives a few miles west of town and right up against the property line where the proposed new turbines could be built.
“We’re afraid it’s going to depreciate our property values,” he said. “And quite frankly, coming out in a rural community, there’s a reason people move out here – for the peace and quiet and the view. And pretty soon we’re going to be having an entire view of wind turbines a hundred and fifty feet up in the air,” said Hamby.
Monday night, the Elm Springs Planning Commission could rezone the 300-plus acres of land and give the Elite Energy Co. permission to build the wind farm.
The design firm for the project is Dragonfly Industries, based out of Frisco, Texas.
According to company spokesperson Jim Lefler, the new wind turbine is designed to cut back on noise and harness energy from lower wind speeds compared to turbines found more commonly in Texas, Oklahoma and elsewhere in the Great Plains.
Dragonfly Industry’s model is also about half as tall as traditional windmills, standing roughly 150 feet high versus the more common 300-foot-high three-tip blade designs.
Dragonfly International provided a statement on the progress of the project reading, “Elite (Energy) is the company that bought the land and they are required to meet all the approvals before Dragonfly takes over management of the project. Dragonfly is excited about the opportunity and continues to pray for the success of the project.”
Meanwhile, Hamby said he is all for green energy and even initially planned to install solar panels on his home when it was built. But he is not in favor of the wind turbine project taking place within a few hundred feet of his doorstep.
“We think that clean energy should be pursued responsibly, not put in a residential area surrounded by homes, so close to people that it could negatively affect,” said Hamby.
The planning commission is scheduled to meet at Elm Springs City Hall at 6:30 p.m. Monday.
If the wind farm is approved by the planning commission, the Elm Springs City Council would still have to sign off on the project before it could be built.
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