September 26, 2014 by lmorgan · Comments Off
A decision on a new wind energy farm, more jobs and promised tax revenue for School District #18 and all of Antelope County now rests with the county Supervisors.
The Antelope County Board of Supervisors will hold a public hearing Tuesday, October 7, at the Antelope County Courthouse beginning at 9:45 a.m. The purpose of the public hearing will be to review a conditional use permit application submitted by Invenergy Wind Development, LLC on behalf of Prairie Breeze Wind Energy II LLC.
For the complete story, see the print edition of The Elgin Review
Antelope County Planning Commission Recommends Conditional Use Permit For Prairie Breeze II Wind Farm
September 10, 2014 by lmorgan · Comments Off
After hours of discussion which spanned over two meetings, the Antelope County Planning Commission came to a decision regarding a proposed new wind farm.
On a five-to-one vote, the commission recommended to the Antelope County Board of Supervisors that they approve a conditional use permit (CUP) for development of Prairie Breeze II wind farm to be built east of Elgin. The lone dissenting vote was cast by Phyllis Perdew. Voting in support of the recommendation were board members Dan Zwingman, Greg Wortman, Mark Smith, Ronald Rice and Matt Klabenes. Absent from the meeting, held in the basement of the Antelope County Courthouse, were Bob Krutz, Dave Miller and Kurt Rakow.
As part of the recommendation, the commission stipulated any Prairie Breeze II wind turbine must be setback a minimum of 2,000 feet from a non-participating home/landowner and 1,500 feet from a participating home/landowner unless the owner signs a waiver with Invenergy, the owner of the wind farm. As part of the permit, no setback can be less than 1,000 feet from a dwelling.
Action by the county supervisors on the CUP could take place in October at one of their two regular meetings.
More on this story in next week’s issue of The Elgin Review.
September 5, 2014 by lmorgan · Comments Off
Will the Antelope County Planning Commission make a decision this month on a conditional use permit being sought for a new wind energy farm in Antelope County?
County residents should soon find out.
The planning commission will again address the issue of a conditional use permit for Prairie Breeze II when they meet in open session on Tuesday, Sept. 9.
The meeting is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m. in the supervisors’ room at the Antelope County Courthouse. Tuesday night’s meeting is open to the public.
Invenergy, owner of the 118-wind turbine Prairie Breeze Wind Energy farm south of Elgin, is seeking to build a second farm consisting of approximately 70 wind turbines on land east of Elgin.
Meeting last month, the planning commission heard more than two hours of public testimony before voting to table the matter.
Commission chairman Mark Smith, at the August meeting, said a decision on the permit may hinge on the setback distance between a wind turbine and a residential home.
He said at the August meeting if the current distance of 1,000 feet cannot be increased, “then it will be very hard for the application to move forward.”
For the complete story, see the print edition of The Elgin Review.
August 21, 2014 by lmorgan · Comments Off
The Antelope County Planning Commission voted unanimously to table any action on a conditional use permit until September 9 so they can receive further legal advice. A number of issues were raised by citizens at a public hearing which lasted for more than two hours.
The September meeting will begin at 7:30 p.m. at the courthouse in Neligh.
Commission Chairman Mark Smith summed up the meeting in a few simple words towards the end of the hearing, saying if the commission cannot increase the distance between homes and wind turbines from the current setback of 1,000 feet, “then it will be very hard for the application to move forward.” In addition, he told Invenergy officials that the commission needs to know earlier on where the placement of towers will be.
Speaking for Invenergy, James Williams said prior to the commencement of construction a map is provided to Zoning Administrator Char Carpenter showing all wind turbines meeting setback regulations. The meeting room was full of county residents and more stood in the hallway during a hearing which featured proponents and opponents of wind farms voicing their opinions.
Each side was given an opportunity to state their opinions.
For the complete story, see the print edition of The Elgin Review
August 14, 2014 by lmorgan · Comments Off
Property owners along the proposed new wind energy farm met with representatives from Prairie Breeze Wind Energy Farm and Invenergy to learn what it means to them.
From 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., the Prairie Breeze Operations & Maintenance Building served as the site of an open house for everyone wishing to learn more about the proposed second wind energy farm for Antelope County.
Invenergy Business Development Manager James Williams, Prairie Breeze manager Eric Kline and others associated with Prairie Breeze met face-to-face with landowners to discuss the necessary steps which need to be taken.
Among the information shared Monday is that the new wind energy farm will be located directly east of Elgin.
Alissa Krisky, director of communications for Invenergy, shared the following information:
“The Prairie Breeze II Wind Energy Center (“Prairie Breeze II”) will be located on approximately 15,000 acres of private land. With an excellent wind resource and strong community support, the area is an optimal location for a successful wind project. As envisioned, Prairie Breeze II would consist of approximately 70 wind turbines, for a total capacity of approximately 125 MW.”
The proposed wind farm will be slightly smaller than the current Prairie Breeze wind farm which has been producing electricity since May 2014. That wind farm consists of 118 wind turbines with a capacity of 200.6 MW.
“As with our existing Prairie Breeze Wind Energy Center, Prairie Breeze II would provide substantial, long-term economic benefits to the local community. The project is expected to generate approximately 200 jobs during construction, and potentially seven permanent operations and maintenance jobs once the farm is operational, along with more than $1 million annually in local tax revenue, lease payments to landowners, and salaries for staff … We look forward to continuing to work closely with our host community in Antelope and Boone Counties, contributing to the area’s economic development, and providing an additional supply of clean, homegrown energy in Nebraska.”
Williams, on behalf of Invenergy, filed for a conditional use permit at the Antelope County Zoning Office on Aug. 4. A public hearing on the permit application will be held on Monday night, at 8 p.m. at the courthouse. The hearing will be before the Antelope County Planning Commission who, following the hearing, will make a recommendation to the Antelope County Board of Supervisors on whether or not to approve the permit application.