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Federal Aviation Administration looking for public comment on possible wind turbines in Burt County

Posted at 6:53 PM, Jan 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-16 19:53:42-05

TEKAMAH, Neb. (KMTV) — The Federal Aviation Administration is conducting an aeronautical study and taking public feedback on whether commercial wind turbines could be built in Burt County north of Omaha.

The administration is looking at the feasibility of 87 wind turbine sites located on 80 square miles or 50,000 acres between Tekamah and Oakland and north of Highway 32. Each turbine will be 650 feet tall.

"This will be taller than any building in Omaha including the First National Building," said Allen Soll of the Tekamah Airport Authority. Soll said while the turbines are out of his jurisdiction, they could cause dangers to pilots, creating extra turbulence and little room for error for takeoffs and landings at the airport.

"At 100 miles an hour to 200 miles an hour depending on the height of the aircraft you're 2 to 3 minutes away," Soll said.

Not many people 3 News Now talked to in Burt County knew of the wind turbine project. The Burt County Clerk's office said there hasn't been a mention of the project in any of the county's previous meeting minutes.

"We don't know a lot either," said Rodney Bromm, the chairman of the Burt County Planning Commission. "There hasn't been an application sent to the county."

Bromm said the FAA aeronautical study is only the first step in the bureaucratic process of bringing in the turbines to the county.

"I've had comments on both sides in support of wind energy and people who don't want to look at them," Bromm said.

County members have until January 25th to voice their concerns to the FAA. Soll is hoping people learn what might be coming to the Burt County before they don't have a choice in the matter.

"The one's I've talked to don't know about it," Soll said. "That is the whole thing. I've talked to two or three people about it and they said it's the first they've heard about it."

3 News Now reached out to Con Edison, the firm in charge of the project. The company said they do not comment on ongoing projects and would not talk further at this time.