Against the Wind: Large wind farm met with blowback
PIEDMONT, Okla. - Controversy surrounds the construction of what is being called the largest wind farm in Oklahoma.
Some residents are voicing concerns about the Canadian Hills Wind project, located just west of Oklahoma City.
Apex Wind Energy is behind the $470 million project.
Wind turbines have already gone up around Piedmont but it is unclear if they will be built on private land within city limits.
Some believe the wind farm will lower the property value of land and homes.
Homeowners are also concerned about the noise and the turbines ruining their view.
"I'm not against wind energy, I just don't want it in my backyard," homeowner Melissa Ashford said.
Piedmont city manager Jim Crosby said there is not a city ordinance in place that would allow these large wind turbines to be built within city limits.
City officials have not decided if they will pass an ordinance.
"We are looking at it in great detail," Crosby said. "We have looked at some of the studies that have been done on both sides. We've talked to a lot of the people and we do represent the people in the community."
Not everyone is against the project.
Janice Doss lives near the area where the wind turbines could be built.
She doesn’t have any problem with the construction.
"Oil is good for Oklahoma of course, natural gas is good for Oklahoma," she said. "Why can't wind power be good for Oklahoma?"
Apex officials are working with the community to address any concerns with the project.
The company, which is based in Charlottesville, Virginia, released this statement:
“Apex works hard to make every one of its projects the best that it can be. That includes working with community members, land owners, and municipal governments to address their concerns and create safe, productive energy projects. We are pleased with the progress being made on Kingfisher, and we are proud of the resource we are helping to create for the community there.”
During the construction of the Canadian Hills Wind project, Apex will employ nearly 200 people and will create 15 to 20 permanent jobs.
Apex officials said there will be $1.8 million in annual payments to landowners and the project could generate over $2.4 million in annual tax revenue.
A meeting is scheduled for Nov. 5. to discuss the issue.