March 4, 2022

Over 70 share opinions on wind energy, moratorium extended

A hot-button topic in southeast Nebraska is the addition of wind farms. | By Jake Bartecki | Wednesday, March 2nd 2022 |

FAIRBURY – A hot-button topic in southeast Nebraska is the addition of wind farms.

On Tuesday morning, the Jefferson County Commissioners allowed those with opinions on the topic, to express them. The Jefferson County court room was filled with over 70 people giving thoughts on the issue, both for and against.

Current landowners shared their thoughts and experiences, even with curious neighbors from around the state wanting to learn more about what it’s like to live on or near a wind farm.

“I’ve had dozens of them come by, and over the years, the over riding sentiment is, ‘wow they’re not nearly as noisy as everyone told us they were,” a current landowner said.

Others, provided the commissioners with recommendations on not putting them somewhere they shouldn’t be seen from.

“Wind turbines should not be visible within Homestead National Historical Park, nor Rock Creek Station State Historical Park,” a speaker said.

Many of those against wind farms, came with concern for their livestock, future generations, and an end to the peace and quiet country living is known for.

“As a fourth generation farmer, I’m saddened by all of this,” a farmer said. “This is not the legacy I wanted to leave for my grandchildren.”

When one speaker asked those in the room to stand if they opposed additional wind farms, all but a handful of people in the room did just that.

Another aspect of concern, is the health problems some believe these wind farms bring. Dakota Beals works for a current wind farm in Jefferson County, saying he hasn’t experienced those issues.

“I’ve been in wind energy for six years now, and I haven’t had any health issues,” Beals said. “I’ve known some wind energy technicians who have been in wind energy for 20 years, and I don’t know of any health issues they have.”

The final decision of the day was that of the commissioners, as the moratorium has now been extended through April 14th, and the commissioners tabled taking any specific zoning committee recommendations until March 22nd.

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