Yet, the company does admit the noise from the blade in the wind could reach 80 decibels, comparably to the sound of a freight train 50 feet away.
At Wednesday night's hearing, residents and farmers shared their case why turbines should or should not be built in Meadow Creek.
"I guess the last thing we were thinking about before we moved in was if we are going to have 75 wind turbines up on the ridgeline from us," says Ray Moravek.
They worry about the noise, wildlife and property value impact but mostly the aesthetics and the recreational space they'll lose.
"It's a beautiful country and the wind turbines really don't fit in to that overall outlook," says Moravek.
Homeowners living near 115 North near Ririe are banding together in hopes of preventing a major wind farm project from being constructed on land near their homes.
"We moved out here from Houston to get away from the industrial concrete jungle, and now we feel like it's following us out here," says Jacque Moravek who moved to the area less than a year ago.
Ridgeline Energy is taking steps to expand its wind turbine project in the foothills east of Idaho Falls.
Wednesday night, the company sought approval for a special use permit from the Bonneville County planning and zoning commission.
Scientists are pretty sure these days just what oil and gas development do to nearby greater sage grouse.
But less is known for sure about wind turbines - which generate noise and provide tall roosts for predators, among other potential issues.
Now, a group of biologists, energy developers and electric utilities is pursuing several long-term projects to study how wind farms affect the bird, which is a candidate for listing under the Endangered Species Act.
So when the next threat came to the valley - a proposed transmission line of 190-foot-high towers that would run through their ranches and obscure their scenic views on its way to the Columbia River - folks here knew that words mattered.
That was a lesson Idaho Power executives had to learn the hard way.
Planning and Zoning officials in Bingham County confirm another wind farm is being proposed for a remote area of the county.
P&Z says they will discuss a special use permit for a 33 turbine farm applied for by Oregon-based Western Energy.
Ridgeline Energy, LLC and BP Wind Energy have announced Tuesday, March 16, that they are mobilizing the construction site for the Goshen North wind farm in Bonneville County, Idaho.
When fully operational, the wind farm will have a generating capacity of 124.5 megawatts (MW) and will be the largest wind facility in the state of Idaho.
Idaho and the federal government have signed an agreement that offers incentive and protection for ranchers and landowners who voluntarily take conservation steps to improve the plight of the sage grouse. ...Todd Tucci, attorney for Advocates for the West, said the bigger challenge is dealing with sage grouse habitat on public land, where wind energy development, oil and natural gas drilling and cattle grazing pose thornier policy questions.
Sage grouse are being reviewed a second time because of a federal suit filed by Idaho's own Western Watersheds Project in 2006. In December 2007, U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill overturned a previous decision not to list the bird because of concerns about political meddling at the Interior Department. The judge ordered Fish and Wildlife to take another look.
Idaho Power Co. representative Randy Allphin presented sobering news to the Bellevue City Council on Thursday about the prospect of harnessing wind energy for electrical generation.
"The wind itself just isn't here," Allphin said.
Council Chairman Chris Koch had invited Allphin to speak on the topic.
Idaho Power representative Randy Allphin presented some sobering news to the Bellevue City Council Thursday on the prospect of harnessing wind energy for electrical generation.
"The wind itself just isn't here," he said.
They may not be moving faster than a stiff breeze. But wind-farm proposals continue to float into the Magic Valley.
The Twin Falls County Planning and Zoning Commission is set to hear requests for conditional-use permits for two new wind parks and permit changes for three others at a public hearing set for 7 p.m. Jan. 28.
The county looks close to approving an ordinance that would allow noncommercial turbines up to 40 feet tall on most lots in the county except the mountain overlay district (which includes many hillsides) and the county's scenic corridor. That corridor is defined as anything that can be seen from five feet above the centerline of Idaho Highway 75 from Glendale Road north.
For lots larger than five acres, the county's planning staff would approve the application for a turbine.
Though a final decision has yet to be made, the Blaine County Commission made it clear this week that it does not favor allowing wind energy facilities in the "scenic corridor," the area visible from state Highway 75.
It's the biggest issue the commission faces while continuing deliberations on a proposed ordinance regulating wind energy facilities. The meeting Tuesday at the Old County Courthouse in Hailey was the fifth public hearing on the issue and another, possibly the last, is set for Tuesday, Nov. 24, at 2 p.m.
Federal biologists are still researching what effects a 185-turbine wind farm would have on the desert southwest of Rogerson.
But the U.S. Bureau of Land Management is now asking for more public comment on the proposal, this time on a modification to the resource management plan that governs whether the agency can even consider allowing a wind farm in its Jarbidge Field Office.
The China Mountain project would place turbines generating up to 425 megawatts in parts of a largely federal, 30,700-acre area.
Bingham County Commission Chairman Cleone Jolley said a public hearing held at Shelley City Hall Thursday was aimed at disseminating information and collecting public input related to a proposed new ordinance regulating siting of wind turbines.
Jolley said the proposed ordinance also regulates future construction of wind farms in the county.
Currently, Bingham County has no ordinance pertaining to the new energy technology.
October 15, 2009
by Nick Draper
in Idaho Falls Post Register
Ridgeline Energy is starting from scratch.
The company that has been working since 2006 to build a wind farm on 20,212 acres west of Shelley has withdrawn its permit application with Bingham County's planning and zoning department.
The wind farm isn't being abandoned altogether, though.
""We will be refiling a new application,"" project manager Randy Gardner said.
It's an on-going saga still spinning with controversy.
Idaho Falls business mogul and Melaleuca CEO, Frank Vandersloot, gets deeper into the Bingham County windmill debate.
He's known for strongly opposing the Wolverine Canyon windfarm project east of Blackfoot on the grounds it'll ruin the area's natural beauty.
Recently, one of his companies called Natural Guardian sent out a survey to people living in Bingham County to see where they stand on the issue.
A local development that met an overwhelming amount of opposition was once approved, only to be denied based on land zoning technicalities.
Some argue that very tall wind turbines should not mix with the scenic Wolverine Canyon area in Bingham County.
Frank VanderSloot released the findings of his own survey on Wednesday. His findings indicate that the majority of people in Bingham County do not want to have anything to do with wind farms.