ERIE – Representatives of a wind farm planned for southwest Neosho County met with county commissioners Thursday evening to update them on the project.
Senior Development Manager Jade Scheele and Julianna Pianelle of Apex Clean Energy met with Neosho County commissioners and discussed agreements for road use and other aspects of the Neosho Ridge wind project.
“We’re excited that the community has been so welcoming,” Scheele said.
The project is planned for 40,000 acres between Thayer and Erie. She said the Charlottesville, Va.-based company has leased 35,000.
They are still determining the turbine design, which could determine the number needed to generate 300 megawatts, but it could have up to 130.
Scheele said the project has created a lot of interest, which has accelerated the timeline a little bit. Construction could begin in either the fall of 2019 or spring of 2020 and take nine months.
Bryan Coover, a resident south of Galesburg, raised concerns about the noise the turbines would create.
He also is a board member of Twin Valley Electric and is with the Kansas Power Electric Cooperative.
Coover said he is pro-quiet, and just wants to hear the birds in his yard again. He urged commissioners to talk to people who live near wind projects.
Information from Apex indicated the turbines would create 45 to 55 decibels, which it said is approximately the noise level of a running refrigerators. Wind turbines also cause a flickering effect from shadows of the turning blades in the sun.
Commissioner Paul Westhoff said they should have town hall meetings.
Information is available at the website NeoshoRidgeWind.com.
St. Paul resident Roy Paisley continued his discussion of accounting for the county sales tax to support the ambulance service. He said he compared funding for Crawford and Labette county ambulances.
“They’re not running in the red,” he said. “Why are we?”
Paisley said he was willing to take the issue to the state level.
“If I need to do a petition, I’ll do a petition,” he said. “I’ll do a petition to stop this tax.”
“Something’s wrong in Denmark,” Paisley said.
Commissioners met in a five-minute executive session to discuss personnel and a 30-minute session to discuss legal matters during the four-hour, 40-minute meeting.