- Associated Press - Monday, November 2, 2015

SPRINGDALE, Ark. (AP) - A small town in northwest Arkansas has annexed the 300 acres of land a developer hopes to use for Arkansas’ first wind farm.

Two aldermen and the mayor say the Elms Springs City Council voted 4-2 to annex the land during its Oct. 19 meeting. The agricultural land is on the western edge of the town west of Springdale.

Dragonfly Industries International has said it wants to use the land for a shrouded wind turbine design resembling a jet engine that would provide 80 megawatts of power to the area. The land is owned by a company named Elite Energy, but Dragonfly Industries International will oversee the construction and management of the turbine if the project goes forward.

The Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette reports (https://bit.ly/1P5KxtM ) that Elms Springs leaders must approve all steps of the project under the annexation, and it must meet state and federal regulations. Alderman Kevin Thornton says the vote is “just the first step of what is likely to be a very lengthy process.”

The company has said the 150-foot shrouded wind turbine design is quieter, more efficient and safer for wildlife than the standard design. Opponents have disputed these claims, saying the technology is unproven and could cause health problems, lower property values and harm wildlife.

According to Thornton, the debate over the turbines has been a “productive conversation” rather than one that is divisive and that Elms Springs can only gain from annexing the land.


Information from: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, https://www.arkansasonline.com

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