Kansas is no stranger to alternative energy, with several wind farms popping up across the state in recent years.
A public forum is scheduled tonight for residents to provide input on wind and solar energy systems in the county.
In Reno County, at the border of Sedgwick County, county officials said around 80 turbines will soon pop up.
Officials looked around Sedgwick County, and found several leases for solar and wind energy developments.
Following this news, Sedgwick County Commissioners voted in February to temporarily ban wind and solar energy developments in the county.
“We put a moratorium on any kind of solar or wind energy program until we can figure out what the rules and regulations are…how we’re going to zone this type of property,” explained Dennis.
The county does not have any regulations currently.
The public forum is the first part in deciding whether or not to allow alternative energy in the county.
“It’s something that a lot of people are very passionate about right now and we want to make sure we want to have their input before we make any decisions,” Dennis said. “We’re going to do what’s right for Sedgwick County.”
In addition to public input, officials will hear from experts in health, environmental, zoning and legal.
“There’s a lot of different issues that we have to go through, and if we decide we have to change our zoning codes then it has to go through a formal process,” said Dennis.
The process would include public forums on zoning codes. Wichita City Council and Sedgwick County Commissioners would have to pass the change, as the City and county share unified zoning codes.
Tonight’s public forum is at 6:30 p.m. at the Sedgwick County Zoo’s Cargill Learning Center.
Residents can also share their input online at sedgwickcounty.org.