STANTON, NE — A wind farm could be up and turning by the end of 2020.
Stanton County Commissioners held a public forum to discuss the potential wind energy project on Tuesday evening at the Stanton Community Building. Over one hundred people came to the public forum to listen and share their thoughts on the Tradewind Energy project.
At the forum, a representative from Tradewind Energy and the opposition each gave 15-minute presentations. After, members of the public gave their opinions. A vast majority of speakers spoke out against the project, including Stanton County resident Terry Allean.
“We heard tonight testimony of various different residents having epilepsy and those different types of things, and that they can be affected very seriously by the vibrations, the flash effect, the flicker effect of the propellers, and of course the noise. I went to Knox county and visited some residents, and they went from not being able to even open their windows, to the fact that it actually shakes their houses during bad weather.”
Multiple representatives from Tradewind Energy attended the forum. Vice President of Development Brice Barton presented and answered questions that residents left on comment cards. Many people voiced concerns about Tradewind coming to the county, but Barton says the company works hard to be neighborly.
“It was disheartening tonight. Our company works hard to be good stewards in the communities we work in. We work with the counties, we work with emergency management, all those types of people to support the area, support the project, and be good neighbors and work together.”
Stanton County Zoning Administrator LaLene Bates said the goal for the forum was to get input from both sides on the project and if people want the decision to be put on a ballot. No matter how the decision is made, Bates says it will be quite a lengthy process.
“For the decision, if they’re thinking about going to a ballot, I know the county clerk has to look into if we can do that, and what amount of time it’s going to take. The decision-wise of if we are going to amend our zoning regulations, that’s going to be awhile because we are going to get a subcommittee put together. At this point, if they recommend the planning commission go back, review for amendment to the wind regulations, then that’s what we’ll do. And I know they talked about 90 days, it could take further than that.”
Bates estimates about 95% of easements that have already been submitted are north of Hwy 275, and go as far out as four miles past the junction of Hwy 275 and Hwy 57. If the county decides to amend zoning regulations, she says the county will host another forum for public input.