The Federal Aviation Administration recently asked for local comments regarding a proposed wind farm that would be located in an area centered about 5 miles northeast of the Butler airport that would be home to some 53 big white propellers (pun intended) to generate electricity.
“Navigating around them would be like suddenly having a mountain range by the airport” said local pilot and instructor LeRoy Cook “The FAA would have to raise minimums, we would work around it, but it would complicate matters a bit” said Cook who went on to explain that among minimum ceiling concerns, there would be added training for new pilots as well as complications for crop dusters and others. Cook indicated that wind farms located near Lamar Mo. and Burlington Ks lie close to local airports and so far everyone has been able to safely navigate accordingly- and obviously Butler would do the same.
However, it appears chances of the wind farm happening may be slim to none as local farmers don’t seem interested in giving up some 40,000 acres needed for the project even though they may be offered as much as $8,000 a year for each turbine OR a percentage of gross revenue which could make it enticing.
The Company in question is said to be Harvest Ridge Wind Farm, however a deeper bit of Googling indicates the parent company may indeed be EDP Renewables located in Houston, Texas. More thoughts from Cook in his What's Up column this week.