A new wind power project is being green-lighted in northeast Nebraska’s Antelope County.
As many as 160 turbines will be built near the town of Neligh by Chicago-based Invenergy. It will be the county’s second major wind project.
Some residents are worried about noise from the turbines and county zoning administrator Liz Doerr says the approval comes with conditions to address that.
“They have to stay under 50 decibels at a residence, but there’s also setbacks from the tower to a residence,” Doerr says. “Those are some of the conditions that we’re dealing with.”
Doerr says residents were also worried about what’s known as “ice sling” from the blades of the turbines. New conditions will force the towers to be farther from the road to prevent ice being flung from the blades and hitting cars during the winter.
“GE had some recommendations that it was 1.5 times the total height of the tower,” Doerr says, “and that was greater than what we had in our regulations, so we made that a condition.”
Doerr says getting the project moving will be a long process, but there is a timeline.
“It could easily be a year before they begin construction,” Doerr says. “They may have to do some of this in phases. It depends on when they can get the wind turbines in and things like that so we put a time limit on it that it has to be done in three years or they have to come back for review.”
Doerr bases her estimate off other wind projects in the region. The project outside of Neligh will be much bigger than Invenergy’s other farm in Antelope County, which has 20 turbines.
By Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton