Wind Power News: Kansas
These news and opinion items are gathered by National Wind Watch to help keep readers informed about developments related to industrial wind energy. They are the products of the organizations or individuals noted and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of National Wind Watch.
Landowners blew through a gust of grievances on un-built wind farms Monday years after they signed leases – or, in one case, after construction started on property where a lease was never signed. One landowner, Sandy Sellers, told Marion County commissioners he never signed a lease, yet Windborne Energy still performed work on his property against his will. Tom Britain called Windborne Energy’s business model a “Ponzi scheme.” “It’s just a rotten deal the whole way,” he said. “We’re ready to . . .
After a 45-minute discussion about Windborne Energy’s conditional-use permit, Marion County commissioners at the July 31 meeting directed county counselor to check case law on CUPs with no expiration date. The issue of the open- ended CUP is concerning to some landowners affected in the south central part of the county, according to some patrons at the meeting. For almost seven years the wind farm hasn’t been active, said Tom Britain, one of the residents. Commission chairman Randy Dallke said . . .
Firefighters in Lincoln County responded to an interesting call on Tuesday. A wind turbine was on fire just north of I-70. With the wind turbine standing over 400 feet tall, crews said the fire was impossible to reach. Sylvan Grove Fire Chief Marc Lovin says there isn’t anything his firefighters can do but let the turbine burn. “For safety reasons, we don’t approach the tower normally because there are obviously charges from high voltage electrical current,” said Lovin. Lovin says . . .
ERIE – Backers of a planned wind generation farm in southwest Neosho County gave an update to county commissioners at Friday morning’s meeting. Jade Scheele of Apex Clean Energy told commissioners that they held a landowner luncheon in Thayer and an open house Thursday at the Erie High School for 300 landowners. Scheele said the Neosho Ridge Wind Project is in the leasing stage. Apex Clean Energy, based in Charlottesville, Va., wants to have construction of the 300-megawatt wind generation . . .
Forget mass protests. Sometimes all it takes to derail a major industrial project is an itty-bitty snake. About seven years ago, Finney County was on the verge of landing the Buffalo Dunes Wind Farm, a 250-megawatt project that includes 135 turbines that eventually spread over land in Haskell and Grant counties, until concerns raised about disturbing the habitat of the longnose snake pushed the project farther west. Lona Duvall, president of the Finney County Economic Development Corp., said the Sierra . . .
A mystery lies on the ground on the west side of Greensburg following an unexplained wind generator collapse on May 11 at 12:53 p.m. The wind generator supplied power to the Kiowa County Memorial Hospital and was one of two units serving the hospital. On May 11, a man was mowing grass for the city near the wind generator and decided to take a lunch break. As he sat in his pickup and was eating, the wind generator broke off . . .
A representative of a nonprofit organization that operates the Sunflower gliderport at the former Hutchinson Air Base south of Yoder asked the Reno County Commission on Tuesday to zone a 5-mile radius around the old airport to control potential development of windfarms in the region. The commission was initially scheduled to hold a public hearing Tuesday on a request for a permit for a meteorological tower on land next to the runway, but the applicant withdrew the zoning request prior . . .
Ten months after adopting regulations for wind energy towers, the Douglas County Commission on Wednesday will consider a text amendment to county codes that further defines terms in the regulations. Consideration of the amendment will be during the 6 p.m. time slot reserved for controversial issues or planning and zoning issues that require pubic hearings. Wind towers in rural Douglas County were controversial in November 2013, when NextEra Energy sought permits to install two wind measurement towers in southern Douglas . . .
BP Plc is weighing plans to update as many as 200 of its U.S. wind turbines with newer, higher-capacity equipment, a move that would represent the company’s biggest investment in renewable energy since its last wind farm came online in 2012. If the company green lights the project – a decision that could be reached by mid-year – it would represent about 400 megawatts of capacity. Laura Folse, chief executive of BP Wind Energy, said the move would allow the U.K. energy . . .
Tim Branscom, county zoning administrator, said a resident in the wind farm area has complained that he is having issues receiving TV signals from his antenna. Since the wind farm went active, it has knocked down his number of channels. The resident contacted NextEra and the problem was checked but no problem with the system could be found. NextEra was contacted again and the representative offered the resident a one-time payment for the problem, Branscom said. According to the NextEra agreement, if the operator causes the problem, they have to take timely measures to fix it. The problem has been going on for a month and he is the only one that has complained, Branscom said.