CHAPTER IV. BUILDINGS AND CONSTRUCTIONCHAPTER IV. BUILDINGS AND CONSTRUCTION\ARTICLE 7. WIND ENERGY CONVERSION SYSTEMS

(a)   Wind Energy Conversion System: A machine that converts the kinetic energy in the wind into a usable form (commonly known as a wind turbine or windmill). The WECS include all parts of the system except the tower and the transmission equipment.

(b)   Over speed Control: A mechanism used to limit the speed of blade rotation to below the design limits of the WECS.

(c)   Swept Area: The largest area of the WECS which extracts energy from the wind stream. In a conventional propeller-type WECS there is a direct relationship between swept area and the rotor diameter.

(d)   Total Height: The height of the tower and the furthest vertical extension of the WECS.

(e)   Site: The plot of land where the WECS is to be placed. The site could he publicly or privately owned by an individual or a group of individuals controlling single or adjacent properties.

Wind energy conversion systems shall be permitted in all zones subject to the following requirements:

(a)   Building Permit Application for a WECS: Building permits for a wind energy conversion system shall be accompanied by a plot plan drawn in sufficient detail to clearly describe the following:

(1)   Property lines and physical dimensions of the site.

(2)   Location, approximate dimensions, and types of major existing structures and uses on site.

(3)   Location and elevation of the proposed WECS.

(4)   Location of all above-ground utility lines on-site or within one radius of the total height OF the WECS.

(5)   Location and size of structures and trees above 35 feet within a 500 feet radius of the proposed WECS. For purposes of this requirement, electrical transmission and distribution lines, antennas, slender or open lattice towers are not considered structures.

(6)   Show the zoning designation of immediate and adjacent sites as set forth in the general plan.

(b)   General Provisions. Installation of all wind energy conversions systems shall comply with the following requirements:

(1)   WECS size: This article covers those WECS whose swept area is 1000 square feet or less. (For conventional propeller WECS, this would be approximately 35 Feet or less in diameter.)

(2)   Water Pumpers: Non-electrical windmills used for pumping non-potable water for lawn irrigation purposes may be exempted from provision three through fifteen.

 

(3)   Compliance with National Build Code: Building permit applications shall be accompanied by standard drawings of the structural components of the wind energy conversion system including support structures, tower, base and footings. Drawing and any necessary calculations shall be certified in writing by a licensed professional engineer that the system complies with the National Building Code. This certification would normally be supplied by the manufacturer. Where the structural components or installation vary from the standard design or specifications, the proposed modifications shall he certified by a licensed, registered professional engineer for compliance with the seismic and structural design provisions of the National Building Code.

(4)   Compliance with National Electrical Code: Building permit applications shall be accompanied by a line drawing identifying the electrical components of the wind system to be installed in sufficient detail to allow for a determination that the manner of installation conforms to the National Electrical Code. The application shall include a statement from a licensed registered professional engineer indicating that the electrical system conforms with good engineering practices and complies with the National Electrical code. This certification would normally be supplied by the manufacturer. All equipment and materials shall be used or installed in accordance with such drawings and diagrams.

(5)   Rotor Safety: Each wind energy conversion system must be equipped with both manual and automatic controls to limit the rotational speed of the blade below the design limits of the rotor. The application must include a statement by a licensed registered professional engineer certifying that rotor and over speed controls have been designed and fabricated for the proposed use in accordance with good engineering practices. The engineer should also certify the structural compatibility of portable towers with available rotors. This certification would normally be supplied by the manufacturer.

(6)   Guys Wires: Anchor points for guy wires for the WECS tower shall not be located within six feet of the site lines and not on or across any above-ground electric transmission or distribution line. The point of ground attachment for the guy wires shall be set back from the property line or site parameters the total height of the WECS.

(7)   Tower Access: Towers should have either:

(A)  tower-climbing apparatus located no closer than Twelve (12) feet from the ground;

(B)   a locked anti-climb device installed on the tower; or

(C)   the tower shall be completely enclosed by a locked, protective fence at least six (6) feet high

(8)   Noise: The WECS shall not create excessive noise.

(9)   Electromagnetic Interference: The wind energy conversion system shall be operated such that no disruptive electromagnetic interference is caused. if it has been demonstrated to a city building official that a wind energy conversion system is causing harmful interference, the operator shall promptly mitigate the harmful interference.

(10) Signs: At least one sign shall be posted at the base of the tower or on the protective fences provided in 4-902 (b) (7) (c) warning of electrical shock or high voltage.

(11) Height: The minimum height of the lowest part of the WECS shall be 30 feet above the highest existing major structure or tree within a Two Hundred Fifty (250) feet radius. For purposes of this requirement, electrical transmission and distribution lines, antennas, and slender or open-lattice towers are not considered structure.

(12) Setbacks: Except as provided for under 4-902 (b) (6), the WECS shall be located such that the furthest extension of the apparatus does not cross any site lines.

(13) Utilities Notification: (For those WECS which will be interconnected to a utility grid) No wind turbine shall be installed until evidence has been given that the utility company has been notified in writing.

(14) Abatement: If a wind energy conversion system or systems are not maintained in operational condition for a period of one year and pose a potential safety hazard, the owner or operator shall take expeditious action to remedy the situation. The City of Minneapolis reserves the authority to abate any hazardous situation and to pass the cost of such abatement on to the owner or operator of the system. if the City of Minneapolis determines that the WECS has been abandoned and poses a safety hazard, the system shall he removed within Forty (45) days of written notice to the owner or operator of the system.

(15) Liability Insurance: the applicant, owner, lessee, or assignee shall maintain a current insurance policy which will cover installation and operation of the wind energy conversion system at all times. Said policy shall provide a minimum of Three Hundred Thousand Dollars ($300,000.00) property and personal liability coverage.

For those installations which cannot meet all of the above requirements, they may apply for a conditional use permit.

(a)   Installation: Installation of wind energy conversion systems shall require the granting of a conditional use permit where the WECS proposed for installation vary from the provisions set forth in 4-702.

(b)   APPLICATION: Every application for a conditional use permit shall be made in writing to the City Council of Minneapolis, Kansas on the forms provided by the city, shall be accompanied by a filing fee of fifty dollars ($50.00), and shall include the following information:

(1)   Name and address of the applicant.

(2)   Evidence that the applicant is the owner of the premises involved or that the applicant has written permission of the owner to make such an application.

(3)   A plot plan and development plan drawn in sufficient detail to clearly describe:

(A)  property line and physical dimensions of the proposed site;

(B)   location, approximate dimensions, and types of major existing structures and uses of the site;

(C)   location and elevation of the proposed WECS;

(D)  location of all above-ground utility lines and other WECS on-site or within one radius of the total height of the proposed WECS, including the furthest vertical extension of the rotor assembly;

(E)   location and size of structures or trees above 35 feet within a 500 feet radius of the proposed WECS. For purposes of this requirement, electrical transmission and distribution lines, antennas, and slender or open-lattice towers are not considered structures;

(F)   where applicable the location of all transmission facilities proposed for installation; and

(G)  where applicable, the location of all road and other service structures proposed as part of the installation.

(4)   Public Hearing: A public hearing shall be held on the application for a conditional use permit in accordance with this article, and all of the procedural requirements and right of appeal as set forth therein shall govern the hearing.

(5)   Findings: The City Council of Minneapolis, Kansas, shall approve the conditional use permit if it finds:

(A)  the proposed use is not detrimental to the public health and safety; and

(B)   that the use of the property for such purpose will not result in material damage or prejudice to other property in the vicinity.

(6)   Conditions: The City Council of Minneapolis, Kansas, in approving a conditional use permit may require certain conditions under which the proposed use may be allowed which will prevent material damage to adjacent properties and provide suitable safeguards to the public health and safety.

All owners of WECS shall enter into an agreement with the governing body of the City OF Minneapolis, Kansas to establish the rate the city shall be charged in purchasing excess electrical power from the WECS prior to the WECS being attached to the city’s system.

Any person, firm or corporation violating any provision of this article, or doing any of the acts or things prohibited by this article, or failing or refusing to perform any duty imposed by this article shall, upon conviction thereof, be fined in any amount not to exceed one hundred dollars ($100), or be imprisoned not to exceed thirty (30) days, or be both so fined and imprisoned. Each day during or on which the violation occurs or continues shall constitute a separate offense.