22 February 2013

Wind Facility Proposed for Cherry County

A wind energy facility is being planned for western Cherry County, south of Cody upon a mix of pasture and cropland owned by Schied Ranch L.L.C. The site is primarily along the county road from about four miles south of Cody, and another two to three miles southward along the Mogle Bridge road towards the Niobrara River.

A request for clearance of turbines was filed with the Federal Aviation Administration in March 2012 by project communicator Nebraska Winds L.L.C., giving an address of Tracy, California. Approval was given in November. There would be 31 white turbines, each 492 feet in overall height, topped by a red blinking light.

Construction is proposed to occur in May-December 2014, according to FAA documents.

County officials, including the zoning office, as well as a county commissioner were not aware of the proposed project. It must be approved before construction can occur.

Officials with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Nebraska Game and Parks Commission were also not aware of the proposed project, when contacted. This project must undergo an environmental review.

No details are currently available on how generated electricity would be distributed from the facility to the overall power grid and whether this would require construction of a transmission line, nor what power company would purchase the energy.

There is currently no transmission line in the area that could support the generation of energy from 31 wind turbines, according to a Nebraska Public Power District spokesman. The company has not "issued any request for proposals," nor have they "signed any agreements for wind farms in Cherry County."

Schied Ranch L.L.C. owns about 12,680 acres in the Cody area, extending from Cody Lake at the South Dakota state line, and extending 12 miles to the south to within a couple of miles of the Niobrara River. The southern property includes more than ten center-pivot irrigation systems.

The proposed turbine facility is in the upper center of this map graphic.

View Tower and Hill Locations - Northern Sandhills, Nebraska in a larger map