Wind and solar restrictions approved in Sedgwick County

Commissioners in Kansas’ second most populous county have banned large-scale wind power development because of concerns that it could harm aviation.

The Wichita Eagle reports that the Sedgwick County Commissioner also approved restrictions Wednesday on commercial solar power installations.

Planner Dave Yearout told the commission that large windmills can affect airport operations for a 5-mile (8.05 kilometer) radius.
Commissioner Jim Howell says the county supports wind and solar. But he says “aviation is so important to the community that I think this is a good balance.” The county’s largest city is Wichita, which is a major aircraft production hub.

The new limitations don’t generally prohibit home or business installations of small-scale solar energy systems, or privately owned windmills up to 45 feet tall, provided that regular zoning standards are met.

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