Several landowners who support the proposed wind farm east Newkirk are now speaking their minds in response to protests by other residents opposing the distance the turbines would be placed outside the city limits. Project supporters are also suggesting the possibility of a class-action lawsuit if those opponents cause the project not to take place.
The project, which is named Frontier 2 Wind Power Project, is owned by Duke Energy who has been working with the Kay County Commission and landowners east of Newkirk. Duke Energy is currently working with about 130 property owners east of Newkirk and plan to sell the power to an unnamed company which you can read all about along with the Kaw Nation taking a stand against the proposed wind farm by clicking here. The North Carolina-based company plans to build about 80 600-foot tall wind turbines. Those opposed to the project want to increase the setback from the Newkirk city limits from 1.5 miles to 3 miles, citing a myriad of reasons, including environmental, health and lowered property values.
Supporters have said that losing the project will cost them a much-needed supplemental income, especially in what they said is a poor agricultural economy. Ponca City Resident and former Newkirk resident John Spore, who owns property in the area east of Newkirk, believes the wind farm will help bring a small income each month. Spore has dealt with other wind farms in the past and refutes claims made by the project opponents about being required to remain quiet about signing a lease agreement with Duke Energy.
Local landowners say the income of the wind farm should help as the price of grain continues to drop. Other landowners such as Dan Jandra say that there are bigger concerns rather than the wind turbines. Janda said one of the bigger problems is when the wind is blowing from the southeast, causing the smell of the Newkirk cesspool to create an unbearable smell on the land.
A public meeting was recently held by Duke Energy in Newkirk, but many citizens were left unhappy.