The meeting room of the Antelope County Board of Supervisors was full of spectators Tuesday morning. The reason was a public hearing on a conditional use permit needed for the construction of Prairie Breeze II, a wind farm to be located east of Elgin. More than 30 persons, counting those who stood in the hallway, attended the hearing.
After the hearing ,which lasted just over an hour, the supervisors present voted unanimously to approve the permit. It’s a major step in the development of the new wind farm which will consist of up to 70 wind turbines which will generate 125 MW. Each wind tower will be 80 meters high with a rotor diameter of 100 kmeters. The total height will be 130 meters, the same height as the wind towers at Prairie Breeze I.
The permit is for property located in sections 1, 12-13, 24-25, 36 in Logan Township; sections 1-36 in Cedar Township; sections 1-36 in Grant Township; sections 24-25 & 36 in Elgin Township; sections 19-36 in OakdaleTownship; & sections 19-23, 25-26 in Burnett Township, Antelope County, Nebraska.
As part of the permit, one of the conditions is that any wind turbine that is part of Prairie Breeze II 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. As part of the permit, no setback can be less than 1,000 feet from a dwelling. Invenergy spokesman James Williams said during the construction phase there will be 150 jobs. When completed, Prairie Breeze II will add seven new full-time jobs at the operations/maintenance building located on the edge of Elgin. Currently, there are 14 employees at the building. Last month the Antelope County Planning Commission recommended approval of the permit following a public hearing which extended over two days.
While a number of Antelope County residents spoke up in favor of the wind farm, no one spoke in opposition and only a few raised issues while maintaining a stance of neutrality on the wind farm’s fate.
For the complete story, see the print edition of The Elgin Review