HUTCHINSON, Kan. — The Reno County planning commission heard the final arguments Thursday for a company wanting a conditional use permit for a proposed wind farm.
NextEra Energy wants to place as many as 88 wind turbines in southeastern Reno County. NextEra disputed claims from numerous citizens. The company said it used a collaborative approach to the plan and worked with many citizens throughout the area to address concerns and issues.
Spencer Jenkins with NextEra noted that a lot of the project is in an unzoned area of the county. He said there are setbacks of 2,000 feet in all areas. County zoning, as it stands now, is only required to have a setback of 1,000 feet.
He also noted that, in some cases, they actually moved some possible turbines to other locations because of possible development in the area. They have also been working with those who have concerns about aviation in the area. NextEra has been working with the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks concerning bird migration.
Again, NextEra disputed claims that the turbines will cause health issues and said the noise from the turbines will not cause issues for those near them.
The planning commission has yet to make any recommendation. The hearing is in recess. No official date has been set for the hearing to resume, but it should come later this month.