The turbine's rotating blades are not a threat to low flying prairie chickens. However, road development through the turbine fields confines prairie chickens to a smaller area.
In the past 10 years, wind turbine fields have slowly taken over parts of the Sandhills in Nebraska.
The problem is, Merlin is producing more clean energy than his farm needs, but it can be expensive to pay the power company to add “net metering” so that his surplus energy can be used and he can get paid for being a clean energy producer.
Merlin and Rita Friesen are farmers who grow vegetables and raise livestock on Sunny Slope Farm near Filley, Nebraska. Merlin is a staunch opponent of the risky Keystone XL, and already has already installed $10,000 in renewable energy projects on his land — including solar panels, a solar water heater, wind turbine and windmill.
Sunny Slope Farm near Filley, Nebraska.
Chickens and renewable energy on the Friesen farm.
Farmers Art and Helen Tanderup just installed a new 9-Kilowatt solar array on their land near Neligh, Nebraska — which also happens to be directly on the proposed route of the Keystone XL pipeline.
The solar panels will power Art’s farm operation and home. The solar array is tied to the grid, so Art will be putting clean and locally-produced energy back into Nebraska’s power system.
Eldean Banahan and his wife, Norma, at their home in Steele City, Nebraska. Banahan, a retired farmer, sold a plot of land to TransCanada so they could build a pumping station for Keystone pipelines.
After Banahan sold his land to TransCanada, he was given a hardhat and safety vest by the company to wear during his frequent visits to the pumping station construction site.
Eldean Banahan points to the pumping station in Steele City, Nebraska, marked on a TransCanada map.
The TransCanada pumping station in Steele City, Nebraska.