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County wind turbine regulations near approval  

Credit:  By Jana Rose Schleis | Columbia Missourian | www.columbiamissourian.com ~~

Boone County is one step closer to defining how wind farms can play a part in the area’s future energy generation.

Boone County Presiding Commissioner Dan Atwill expressed interest in acting on the county regulations at the commission’s Nov. 4 meeting. His comment came following a work session Monday to review the proposed regulations with county Resource Management staff.

Director of Boone County Resource Management Bill Florea said the department will get a final draft of regulations before the commission in less than two weeks.

During Monday’s meeting, the staff and commissioners addressed the ideal height of turbines, potential environmental ramifications and visual impacts.

Resource management staff showed commissioners how they took into account criticism and addressed legitimate comments of the regulations from public advocacy organization RENEW Missouri and the general public. They said they are making adjustments based on additional research.

Department staff recommended commissioners set hub height regulations at 262 feet. Hub height measures the distance from the ground to the central rotation point on the turbine, not the height of the top of the blade.

Staff also discussed research that showed how optimal spacing of turbines was seven to 15 rotor diameters apart for cost-efficient power generation.

Commissioners noted they had heard from constituents who are concerned about wind power’s effect on Missouri’s bat and bird populations. Commissioners and staff noted that a Columbia Climate and Environment Commission map suggested the best placement for wind turbines in a narrow section of northeast Boone County.

RENEW Missouri had proposed removing 15 of the 18 guidelines that would be required in an environmental assessment of any wind project.

Boone County regulations would require energy companies interested in operating in the county to provide visual simulations to articulate impact on surrounding homes and communities.

Commissioners expressed interest in abiding by FAA best practices as far as lighting for turbines and the color they should be painted.

Boone County regulations would also address what happens if energy companies abandon a wind farm project.

Source:  By Jana Rose Schleis | Columbia Missourian | www.columbiamissourian.com

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

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