Legislation that would set minimum setbacks for commercial wind turbines in Kansas at 1½ miles from residential homes is scheduled to be heard by a House committee next week.
HB 2273, dubbed the Wind Generation Permit and Property Protection Act, was introduced by Rep. Randy Garber, R-Sabetha, on Tuesday and referred to the Committee on Energy, Utilities and Telecommunications.
That committee, chaired by Joe Siewert, R-Pretty Prairie, will take testimony on the bill starting 9 a.m. Tuesday.
On Friday, a second hearing date was added to hear from opponants of the bill. Its set for 8:30 a.m. Thursday. Those wishing to testify or submt written comment have until 9 a.m. Monday to contact committee assistant Patricia Kredy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Climate and Energy Project sent out an email alert about the bill Thursday afternoon, calling the proposed setbacks “prohibitive,” and the bill “a thinly veiled attempt to stop wind development in Kansas.”
The bill sets out minimum setbacks of “not less than” 12 times system height – which is the total height of a wind turbine measured with a blade in a vertical position – or 7,920 feet, whichever is greater, from any residential property or public building.”
It also proposes a setback of 20 times the system height or 3 miles, whichever is greater, from any airport or local, state or federal wildlife refuge, public hunting area or public park.
The proposal also includes a minimum 1,500-foot setback from any property line.
Developers can get a waiver on any of the setback distances if a landowner grants it in writing.
The bill also requires that the turbines be equipped “with navigational lights that are activated by infrared or other radar technology used to detect nearby aircraft” unless the local board of county commissioners, by resolution, modifies the requirement.
The proposed law would take effect upon its publication in the state statute book.
The hearing is set for Room 281-N at the State Capitol, on Eighth Avenue between Harrison and Van Buren streets.
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