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Hays Wind LLC joins lawsuit -9/25/2008, 10:47 AM

County files response to wind lawsuit -9/12/2008, 10:06 AM

Wind opponents file lawsuit -8/26/2008, 9:31 AM

Wind could blow into court -7/28/2008, 8:51 AM

Commissioners approve development plan -7/28/2008, 8:51 AM

Vote: Let 'er blow -7/28/2008, 4:03 PM

Commission says 'yes' -6/25/2008, 7:26 AM

Commissioners waive moratorium -6/2/2008, 11:43 AM

Wind farm company requests waiver -4/16/2008, 12:01 PM

Meridian Way Wind Farm to border U.S. Highway 81 -4/11/2008, 5:21 AM

Wind developer eyes two new locations -2/18/2008, 3:22 AM

Protest draws out wind talk -12/29/2007, 2:06 AM

Denial of permit sparks wind debate -11/23/2007, 2:06 AM

Supporters: No coal, lines means doom -11/12/2007, 2:06 AM

Iberdrola plans more towers -11/7/2007, 11:41 PM

Missouri wind farm is windfall for rural community -10/30/2007, 11:27 PM

Kansas has wind potential, if it is willing to act on it -10/23/2007, 11:26 PM

Wind talk becomes heated -10/2/2007, 11:26 PM

Wind farm company considers paying neighbors -9/13/2007, 11:26 PM

Reaction mixed on wind decision -9/6/2007, 11:26 PM

Hammond: Wind will blow -9/5/2007, 11:16 PM

Gone with the wind -9/4/2007, 11:16 PM

Wind farm decision towering -8/31/2007, 10:41 AM

Wind farm decision Sept. 4 -8/28/2007, 2:48 PM

CPV rep won't be at meeting -8/23/2007, 11:51 AM

Wind decision later this month ... maybe -8/15/2007, 4:18 PM

Springview wind turbines to be retired -7/17/2007, 10:35 AM

Commissioners: Wind farm's fate will wait -7/16/2007, 3:01 PM

Legislature studies effects of wind farms on health -7/15/2007, 4:05 PM

Protest petitions to be discussed -7/15/2007, 4:06 PM

Landowners may get offer from wind company -7/13/2007, 3:01 PM

Vandals deface wind signs -7/2/2007, 3:01 PM

Another wind farm petition reaches county clerk's desk -6/28/2007, 3:06 PM

Protest petition being verified -6/25/2007, 3:06 PM

Advocate of wind says make effort -6/21/2007, 3:06 PM

Supporters file own petition for wind farm -6/20/2007, 3:01 PM

Opponents file protest petition -6/20/2007, 3:01 PM

Opponents gain legal assistance -6/18/2007, 3:06 PM

Officials expect petition -6/18/2007, 3:06 PM

Commission addresses wind protest petition -6/11/2007, 3:06 PM

Wind farm gets nod -6/6/2007, 3:06 PM

Wind farm concerns brought before commission -6/5/2007, 3:06 PM

Wind farm decision looming -6/4/2007, 3:01 PM

-6/3/2007, 3:06 PM

Wind talk brings many voices -5/23/2007, 3:06 PM

Wind power bills just hot air, environmentalists say -5/23/2007, 3:01 PM

Attorney discusses wind farm with commissioners -5/21/2007, 3:01 PM

Wind meeting resumes Wednesday at Ellis County Fairgrounds -5/21/2007, 3:01 PM

Wind farm, zoning cause concerns -5/18/2007, 3:06 PM

Wind farm zoning timeline -5/17/2007, 3:01 PM

Concerns fly about birds -5/15/2007, 3:06 PM

Where the wind blows -5/10/2007, 3:06 PM

CPV says turbines will be pulled back -5/8/2007, 3:01 PM

How other counties in Kansas are benefiting from wind farms -5/8/2007, 3:01 PM

Wind farm gets economical endorsement -5/8/2007, 3:01 PM

Neighbors voice opposition to wind farm -5/3/2007, 3:06 PM

Wind farms can generate more power, but may be deadly to bats and birds -5/3/2007, 4:03 PM

Opponents air wind concerns -5/2/2007, 3:06 PM

Location selection due to wind surveys -4/30/2007, 3:06 PM

Tests to determine wind farm's effect on power grid -4/28/2007, 4:13 PM

Wind farm talk gaining more speed -4/24/2007, 4:12 PM

New counsel for wind farm issues -4/17/2007, 4:14 PM

CPV Wind sold to new company -4/11/2007, 4:14 PM

Jeter resigns from wind farm counsel -4/9/2007, 4:21 PM

Commissioners hear wind farm feedback -4/2/2007, 4:16 PM

Weather forces wind meeting's end -3/28/2007, 4:22 PM

Wind farm debate blows into Hays -3/28/2007, 4:10 PM

Commission to discuss wind farm -3/26/2007, 4:22 PM

Developers ready to file for permit -2/28/2007, 4:23 PM

Wind farm application filed -1/6/2007, 4:20 PM

myTown Calendar

SPOTLIGHT
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Wind could blow into court

Published on -7/28/2008, 8:51 AM

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By KALEY LYON

klyon@dailynews.net

Monday's Ellis County Commission vote to grant a conditional-use permit application for a wind project southwest of Hays was a step forward for Iberdrola's 200-megawatt project.

Individuals on both sides of the issue, however, expect that final resolution of this debate could be issued in district court.

"I sincerely appreciate the vote of support this morning," said Krista Gordon, Hays Wind project manager. "From here, if an appeal is filed, we'll have to respond accordingly.

"I'm hopeful that we'll be able to continue without too many road blocks."

Not everyone, however, is pleased with the commissioners' decision.

Tim Davis, co-chairman of the Ellis County Environmental Awareness Coalition, a group opposed to the wind farm, said plans to file an appeal in district court have been under way.

"There's a lot of inconsistencies and errors in the application and in the process," Davis said. "Everybody expected to lose this round, with them pulling back the boundaries and etc., but this has been kind of the plan of action for a long time."

The first time around, a successful protest period stayed the process. Only one vote of opposition from county commissioner Perry Henman was enough to deny the permit.

The new application, however, pulled back the project boundaries so the 1,000-foot radius of eligible protest area was reduced, and no valid protest was submitted.

Thus, the conditional-use permit was granted Monday morning by a majority vote of the Ellis County commission.

Opponents now have a 30-day period to file a lawsuit and are planning to do so, Davis said.

Gordon said the project, which will consist of 100 turbines, each standing nearly 400 feet tall, will continue to progress.

Before construction can commence, however, the company has other housekeeping details to attend to, such as selling the potential 200-megawatts of energy production to an off-take company.

Provided there are no lawsuits filed, and things progress smoothly, Gordon said it would be possible for construction to commence in about a year.

A final engineering study and negotiation of a road agreement with Ellis County Public Works also will be on the to-do list.

The company also will need to go through the permit process with the city of Hays, as eight turbines tentatively have been located within the 3-mile radius under city jurisdiction, she said.

An application requesting such a permit has not yet been filed, and the Hays Area Planning Commission is working to establish zoning regulations pertaining to wind energy.

Plans for this wind farm location began in summer 2003. Iberdrola took over the project in May 2007. The permit process officially began in spring of 2007, with the Ellis County Joint Planning Commission hearing the original application in March.

A new application was filed last month, with the joint planning commission conducting a public hearing June 25.

That means the total permit process took almost a year and a half, which is unusual in the industry, Gordon said.

"It's very rare for a permit process to take this long," she said. "It's unusual."

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