The Cuming County Planning Commission approved Bluestem Energy Solution’s reapplication for a conditional use permit for a single wind turbine facility to be built in Cuming County by a 5-2 vote at Monday night’s meeting. The Cuming County Board of Supervisors unanimously denied the first application on June 25th due in large part to no clarity on the decommissioning plan and no mitigation on the RTK. That’s according to Zoning Administrator Becky Lerch, who explains why the Planning Commission approved Bluestem Energy Solution’s application for a second time.
This will go in front of the Cuming County Board of Supervisors again on July 30th at 11:00 a.m, at the Nielsen Center due to court that day and the DMV being at the courthouse, according to Lerch.
The site address is proposed to be located three miles Northeast of Wisner to the Northeast of Road T and Road 9 Intersection in the Intensive Ag District.
Matt Robinette with Bluestem Energy Solutions says the cost of the project is about $5 million.
The second application was received on June 27th.
Attorney Logan Hoyt, who represents J.R. Breitkreutz, says there are three issues with interference with RTK GPS.
Hoyt says Multipath is when a single bounces off an object such as a tower or large building it affects the accuracy of GPS cause when the GPS receiver reads that signal it shows a slightly different position.
He adds the initial report indicated the rover should not be operated within 5,550 feet of the wind turbine, and said the addendum indicated that not withstanding whatever was put in there, there are no issues due to a lot of satellites that provide strong signals and the rover should be able to read those signals.
Hoyt says the issue is the signals can still be strong and bounce off and be inaccurate.
Lerch says she spoke with four John Deere Representatives in Nebraska and Iowa who say they have not seen any problems with running the RTK system near wind turbines. Robinette says they talked to 40 counties across Nebraska, Iowa, and Kansas that currently operate wind turbines, and none reported issues with their local GPS equipment operating close to the turbines.
Cuming County Public Power District General Manager Chet McWhorter says not more than one wind turbine is needed in the county.
McWhorter says why the board went ahead and went with the project had to do with the ability to hedge against future rate increases, to have a little bit of local control on some energy issues, and to provide economic growth and development in the county.
Lerch says the turbine would come down and be removed to at least 4 feet below ground level if it can’t be redone after its lifetime.