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A wind war for Oklahoma?


Staff Report

A new wind farm in Canadian County is provoking fear from residents in the area.

Consisting of 135 turbines near Calumet is the Canadian Hills Wind Farm, developed by Apex Wind Energy. Another 120 turbines both in Canadian and Kingfisher Counties are planned.

The company touts the “clean, safe and renewable” nature of the power produced from the turning turbines, but some people who live in the area are upset about the situation.

Neighbors worry about possible health effects on humans – and the occasional death of birds, including geese.

The company’s website says there will ultimately be 300 turbines in its program.

Turbines are placed on property after a lease is signed with a land owner.

One local property owner who did not sign a lease with Apex is Kingfisher County’s Richard Grellner. He says the turbines will drive down residential property values, and that the rights of those who own neighboring land will be undercut. He also objects to contractual limitations on the ability of property owners who signed leases to talk about their situation.

At the state Capitol, Senate Bill 1440 has been proposed, sponsored by Senate President Brian Bingman, R-Sapulpa, and co-sponsored by state Rep. Earl Sears, R-Bartlesville.

The measure would place a future moratorium on wind farm construction east of Interstate 35. (In its original form, the legislation would not impact existing wind farms.)

Although both Kingfisher and Canadian Counties are west of that highway, discussion about S.B. 1440 has provided an opportunity for critics of the turbines to speak out.

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