20 October 2011

Arthur County Turbine Farm Proposal

Is there an industrial wind turbine project in the future for northern Arthur county, in the western sandhills of Nebraska?

Information presented on the internet indicates Eurus Energy America Corporation, of San Diego, California, has completed a study plan document for more than 50 wind turbines.

The turbines would occur across 37,000 acres ranchland in two localities, northeast and northwest of Arthur.

The east site would extend east to west across Triangle Road, and be southwest of Swan Lake, northwest of Threemile Lake and northeast of Mechoglan Lake. They would be placed directly west of Baldy Hill, on hilltops on the north and south side of Baldy Valley.

The height of the turbines - each extending about 389 feet above the surface - and surpass 4100 feet in elevation. This would be 300 feet higher in elevation than the top of Baldy Hill, which has a hilltop elevation of 3822 feet.

The western site would be northward of Silassen Road. Turbines here would have an overall height of about 4289 feet, according to site details.

Information on project 2010-WTE-65-OE, available at the Federal Aviation Authority website, indicates a total height of 4030 feet, giving a base site elevation of 3641 feet. This was for a spot about two miles northwest of Threemile Lake.

The application was filed with the FAA in January 2010, as required for the construction of any structures which extend more than 200 feet in the air. The agency has indicated the turbines would not be a "hazard to air navigation" but will require suitable lighting to denote their location.

The Nebraska Field Office of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has not received any information on this project, according to a representative. This agency is typically involved with wind turbine project due to any potential for the "taking" of birds or bats and which is regulated through the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

Location of turbines proposed in Arthur County. The turbines are indicated by the red dots.

Landscape features and identified wetlands in the immediate vicinity of the eastern project site for wind turbines proposed for Arthur County. Wetlands determined by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.