PIEDMONT — Large wind turbines planned near the city will no longer be deemed “public nuisances” after city councilors voted to repeal an ordinance passed earlier this year.
The vote came Monday evening as the city, a group of property owners and Apex Clean Energy Inc. announced a settlement on a dispute over the Kingfisher wind farm planned for northern Canadian County and southern Kingfisher County.
The Kingfisher wind farm is a 300-megawatt project between Piedmont and Okarche. Apex hasn't started construction, but the project is expected to be operational by 2015.
“We're very pleased we've been able to come to an agreement, and we're looking forward to moving forward on the project with the support of the community,” said Dahvi Wilson, a spokeswoman for Apex.
The settlement agreement maps out parts of northeast Canadian County and a sliver of southeast Kingfisher County where Apex will not place turbines for the project. It also limits turbine height to 499 feet and puts in a 1,500-foot setback from the homes of landowners who haven't signed leases with Apex. In return, the city agreed not to interfere with the project. Apex's subsidiary, Kingfisher Wind LLC, agreed to pay the city $20,000 as reimbursement for expenses related to the settlement agreement.
A second agreement was signed between Apex and the Central Oklahoma Property Rights Association (COPRA), which has fought the project since last year. In a statement, COPRA's Pam Suttles said the group and Apex were in negotiations over a possible settlement for several months.