Nebraska County rejects new wind farm

County Commissioners in Beatrice, Nebraska voted this week to reject a plan for a new wind farm. All five members of the Hamilton County Board voted against approval of a condition-use permit for the project, according to the Omaha World-Herald.

The permit was sought by Hamilton County Wind, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Bluestem Energy Solutions. Hamilton County Wind proposed building four GE 2.82 megawatt towers, which together would have produced a total of 11.28 megawatts.

Each tower would have been 292 feet tall. From the ground to the tip of the blade, the total height of each structure would have been 497 feet. The wind farm would have been built south and west of the Interstate 80-Highway 14 interchange.

As part of the motion that passed, the board created a moratorium on the building of wind turbines until county staff members can research the impact of wind farms on people’s health.

Board member Roger Nunnenkamp said he felt the burden was on Bluestem to show the wind farm wouldn’t be harmful to people’s health. “And I did not feel that they met the burden,” Nunnenkamp said after the meeting.

“Hamilton County this year approved a comprehensive plan and zoning regulations that included provisions for wind generation,” Nelson said after the meeting. “We said from the beginning that it was a living document, that changes could be made to that in the future. It just so happened that as soon as the zoning regulations were approved, the application appeared, and it was our first application to look at under those new regulations.”

Source: Omaha World-Herald