A St. Louis-based energy company interested in building a wind farm in Osage County is holding a public meeting on Thursday July 28 at the Pawhuska Elks Lodge.
Wind Capital Group has filed an application to build the wind farm on prairie land west of Pawhuska, according to The Bigheart Times. The application for the 8,300 acre, 150-megawatt wind farm was filed with Osage County government officials on July 8.
In a July 22 statement on its Web site, Wind Capital Group announced it has signed a power purchase agreement “to provide 150 megawatts of electricity from its Osage County Wind Energy Facility to Springfield (Mo.)-based Associated Electric Cooperative Inc.”
The proposed Osage County wind farm “has a non-contiguous footprint of less than 120 acres,” according to Wind Capital Group, which will own and operate the facility as Osage County Wind.
Wind Capital Group touts the project’s advantages including: “Osage County Wind is expected to provide over $30 million in property tax revenues to Osage County, long-term lease payments to local landowners, and $1.5 million in regional business activity during construction. Additionally, the project will create 250 critical on-site construction jobs and 12-15 permanent positions during operation.”
Even though the wind farm would be built on privately owned lands, the Osage Nation and other entities are concerned about environmental issues such as wildlife habitats and natural resources.
Its also unknown how the wind farm project will impact the Osage Nation’s Minerals Estate as the tribe owns all subsurface mineral rights in Osage County.
ON Principal Chief John Red Eagle told regional media outlets earlier this summer he would be against the wind farm project.
Chris White, who is executive director of governmental operations for Chief Red Eagle’s office told the Osage News earlier this year the Nation is also concerned about impacts to the Nation’s economic endeavors (current and future) and burial grounds and historic sites.
The July 28 open house meeting with Wind Capital Group officials starts at 5 p.m. at the Pawhuska Elks Lodge west of downtown and lasts through 8 p.m.
Also coming up: The Osage County Board of Adjustments has scheduled a hearing on Wind Capital's permit application to build the wind farm on Aug. 11 at 6 p.m. at the Osage County Fairgrounds.