By Robert Flippo
The City of Piedmont has reached a finalized agreement with Apex Clean Energy and Kingfisher Wind regarding the placement of wind turbines in the Piedmont area. All that remains is for the Piedmont City Council to vote on the agreement at the council meeting on Monday, Dec. 9.
City Manager Jim Crosby said he will recommend that the council approve the agreement.
“I think it’s an excellent agreement,” Crosby said. “I think we got more than we had anticipated getting.”
Of course, Crosby said, the agreement is by no means perfect. As is the case in all negotiations, everyone leaves a little unhappy, wishing they could have got just a bit more. However, Crosby said he thinks most people will be pleased with agreement.
“There was a lot of give and take on all people’s part,” Crosby said. “When it was all over I think all parties were very well satisfied.”
The agreement states that it seeks to address the conflicts that may arise from the construction of the wind farm as well as the “potential health concerns…and the economic growth and development of the City of Piedmont.”
To do so, the agreement establishes a “No Turbine Area” in which the wind energy companies agreed they will not build any turbines and outside of which the City of Piedmont will not prohibit the construction of wind turbines. The “No Turbine Area” extends west of Piedmont to Manning Rd and runs south to Wilshire Blvd. Because of the jagged nature of Piedmont’s city limits, some areas of Piedmont receive a three mile buffer and others receive a two mile buffer. The only area with less than a two mile buffer is the small piece of Piedmont that juts into Kingfisher County.
In addition to the “No Turbine Zone”, the wind energy companies agreed to not construct any turbines taller than 499 ft. and to set back all turbines at least 1500 ft. from the residences of non-participating landowners within the project area. The agreement also states that Kingfisher Wind will pay the City of Piedmont a one-time sum of $20,000.
On the Piedmont side, the city agreed to repeal Ordinance 591, which declared wind turbines within three miles of the city to be a public nuisance, and that if Piedmont participates in a Metropolitan Area Planning Commission (MAPC), the city will not support any action inconsistent with the terms of the agreement.
The Piedmont City Council will meet at 6:00 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 9 to vote on the agreement.