SYRACUSE – NextEra Energy Resources held a meeting with Lancaster and Otoe County residents Wednesday night at the Syracuse County Fairgrounds to discuss the benefits of the Panama Wind Farm which would place approximately 38 wind turbines in Lancaster and from Otoe.

NextEra, believed to be the world’s largest producer of renewable energy, was greeted by hundreds of locals wearing matching yellow shirts that read “say no to high winds” to express their disapproval of the project.

Lancaster County resident Erin Walvoord, who runs a Facebook page about the wind farm, expressed her displeasure with the project, saying it had too many negative impacts on the land and the community.

Walvoord went on to say that she believes some community members were unaware of the wind farm until they heard about Wednesday’s presentation, and feels that NextEra has not been as transparent as it was. it should be about the project.

Walvoord: “This information meeting [Wednesday] which is set up by the wind energy company is the first effort that [NextEra] did to have any sort of public briefing.”

NextEra project developer Matthew Jones spoke to News Channel Nebraska earlier today Wednesday saying he hoped Wednesday’s presentation would bring more transparency and ease the minds of community members who oppose the wind farm.

Warren Fick, who lives near Bennett, shared a similar sentiment saying he’s against the wind farm because he fears his property’s value will go down. Fick felt the meeting leaned heavily toward those who oppose the farm and want to see wind farms moved further west from populated areas.

Fick: “I found it to be rather one-sided in terms of people objecting to it. I know there are landowners who have signed leases on this and I understand that.”

Fick continued: “I’m not against wind power. I think it has its place, but not in such a populated area.

The Otoe County Planning Commission is scheduled to meet at 7 p.m. May 19 to discuss next steps.