- National Wind Watch: Wind Energy News - https://www.wind-watch.org/news -

The Hughes County wind farm proposal

A California-based energy company has proposed building between 150 and 200 industrial wind turbines in Hughes County to produce and sell electricity. These turbines will stand between 400 and 500 feet high and generate some tax revenue, as well as lease payments to local landowners, many of whom are farmers and ranchers.

The extra money sounds great, but there are hidden costs to everything. In this case, as in many other wind-farm proposals, neighbors are beginning to turn on one another. Not everyone likes the idea of industrial wind turbines filling the landscape. Certainly, there are some aesthetic concerns but, more practically, those folks opposed to the wind farm have legitimate business and health concerns.

No one has a good handle on what, if any, impact wind turbines have on pheasants. A few studies have been published but all of them are fairly recent and have had mixed results. This is a problem because the land in and around Hughes County is now the state’s second-best pheasant-producing region and there are a lot of folks who make part of their living selling pheasant hunts.

It is understandable then, that those folks would be concerned about the construction of devices that are known to kill hundreds-of-thousands of birds annually. Those birds are mostly migratory birds to be sure, but the pheasant-hunting operations’ concerns are still valid.

The wind-farm proposal is a thorny issue, one that the Capital Journal has and will continue to dedicate resources to covering.