Wind farm ban around Wichita moves ahead

A ban on wind farms is in the works for Sedgwick County in Wichita, Kansas.

The city’s Metropolitan Area Planning Commission voted last week to recommend the wind farm ban to the Sedgwick County Commission and the City Council in Wichita.

Individual wind towers would be allowed along with solar energy development, but not wind farms.

The planning commission also voted to put restrictions on the solar farms, making sure they are at least one mile from a runway or air unless approval is granted by the Federal Aviation Administration.

“No commercial wind generators would be allowed in Sedgwick County based upon the aviation industry in Sedgwick County and airports and because of potential for future development,” said Bob Dool, an at-large member of the planning commission.

The recommendations from the Planning Commission came after Sedgwick County Commissioners decided in February to adopt a moratorium on wind and solar energy development.

One recommendation that the Planning Commission did not approve was a proposal to prohibit wind farms within a 5-mile radius of existing air strips and airports.

While Sedgwick County has not received any applications for wind farms, one is in the process of being located in adjacent Reno County to the west.  NextEra Energy is attempting to build a wind farm near Cheney Reservoir located due west of Wichita.

Opponents of wind energy have voiced their feelings  with Sedgwick and Reno County Commissioners.

 

“They’re an eyesore. Nobody that has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on land and houses to get away from the buildings and the city wants these things in their back yard,” said Brian Fair of Andale, a suburb of Wichita.

Sedgwick County Commissioners will review the recommended wind farm ban at a meeting in July.

 

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