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Objections to wind farm expansion growing

Staff writer

Several residents of the southwest portion of the county are objecting to a proposed expansion of Sunflower Wind farm.

Quentin Guhr, who lives east of Goessel, spoke to county commissioners Monday about his concerns.

“Our current decommissioning regulations say enough of the turbine’s base is to be removed so 18 inches of soil can be placed over it and reseeded with native grass,” Guhr said. “As some of you may know, and any farmer will tell you, 18 inches is not enough soil over concrete to grow a crop.”

Regulations say that any more than 18 inches is to be negotiated between the wind farm company and the landowner at or before the time of decommissioning, he said.

Regulations say the wind company will provide financial security to the county for decommissioning.

“We need more details as to what this security will look like,” Guhr said.

Guhr said regulations needed to specify the extent of cleanup after a blade failure or fire.

“We need to protect the interests of those around the wind turbines,” he said. “Fiberglass from shattered blades has the potential to render the land unusable.”

Longtime wind farm opponent Tom Britain also spoke Monday, asking about details of decommissioning and about lights on turbines.

Commission chairman Dave Mueller told him all was being done according to regulations.

“Everybody hates this,” Britain said.

“No, everybody does not,” Mueller answered.

Expansion into the southwest portion of the county first was discussed in October.

In other business Monday, commissioner Kent Becker made a sixth pitch for commissioners to pass a resolution rejecting a federal program called the 30x30 program.

Last modified June 19, 2024

 

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