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Company ends Reno wind farm effort: Firm unable to secure enough land

With a decision by a Texas-based company to end its effort in signing up acreage for a potential wind farm in southeast Reno County, no other commercial wind projects are visible on the horizon for the county.
Not that the effort by Horizon Wind Energy was really visible, or that the decision makes the county any less viable as a candidate for development, local wind experts say.
But it was the only listing for Reno County in the Southwest Power Pool’s “generation interconnection” queue, a step necessary in development of any kind of electrical power generation.
Horizon Wind Energy, based in Houston but with offices in Overland Park and Iola, had been working about 18 months to find 10,000 acres in the southeast corner of the county to put under lease. Company officials said they’d only signed up about 1,000 acres in that time, with others reluctant to sign a long-term agreement because of belief the land would be more valuable for real estate development.
“We were looking in the southeast corner of the county, south of K-96, between Haven and northeast of Cheney Reservoir, east to the Sedgwick County line,” said Josh Bohach, development project manager. “The primary characteristics you look at to attach a wind development hold true for this location: a good wind resource, competitive land use and proximity to transmission lines.”
The amount of land necessary for the turbines, other equipment and linking roads to develop a 100 megawatt farm is actually relatively small, Bohach said. But leases on the large swaths of contiguous land are necessary to allow siting and leave sufficient undeveloped land around the turbines.

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