The signs suggest Exergy pushed too hard, spent too much and extended itself too far.
Unfortunately, and perhaps unfairly, this one company's problems can reflect poorly on an emerging wind sector. Exergy's implosion is particularly ill-timed because, while the PUC deliberates, the wind industry also is locked in a public relations showdown.
But while Exergy does not speak for the entire Idaho wind industry, the company's abrupt about-face undermines the developers' case for rebates. Not to mention undermining one company's credibility at the Statehouse.
A compromise, obviously, is needed between Idaho's economic potential and the realities of Magic Valley agriculture. But it's unclear at this point what such an agreement would look like.
Public policy administrators and elected officials are too deeply involved in transmission line siting issues to be honest brokers in this debate.
Blaine County commissioners are formulating an ordinance to allow wind turbine towers in the Wood River Valley. As proposed, the ordinance would allow windmills 40 feet tall with 12-foot blades within the scenic corridor along Highway 75.
Protection of our scenic corridor has been a high priority with previous county administrations. ...Wind turbine construction has been very controversial in all parts of the United States, yet our commissioners are writing this ordinance without the input of Blaine County citizens.
As the U.S. tries to reduce the climate change spurred by the warming of the atmosphere because of increasing carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels, alternative forms of energy production will be necessary.
And yet, it doesn't make sense to trample sensitive ecosystems in the new rush to develop alternative energies. It would be an oxymoronic case of destroying the Earth in order to save it.
An equestrian subdivision and a 500,000-volt power line just don't mix.
And, somewhat belatedly, Idaho Power Co. appears to have gotten the message. Company officials have redrawn the maps for the transmission line. At this point, none of their possible routes run near Parma.
Score one, for the time being, for a small-town mayor who raised a big-time and much-justified ruckus.
The fate of Dave Parrish (the demoted Idaho Department of Fish and Game regional supervisor) somewhat parallels that of Don Quixote when the valorous knight attacked a windmill he mistook for a giant. ...With the support of Sen. Bert Brackett, R-Rogerson, Rep. Bedke picked up the phone and relayed to the governor's office that he thought Dave Parrish's remarks in his editorial to the Twin Falls Times-News were "inappropriate," came too early in the environmental process and violated Gov. Butch Otter's media policy.
I was disappointed and alarmed that Dave was demoted by the department in a purely political move. Dave and his staff came under heat when the Magic Valley office opposed Cove Springs in Blaine County because of its negative wildlife impacts. In fact, Dave's job was threatened then when the Cove developers complained to the governor and his Fish and Game supervisors.
This summer, Dave spoke out about the wildlife impacts of a large proposed wind farm and that brought the hatchet down, despite his having worked on hundreds of projects which were successfully negotiated.
Last month, the Magic Valley's regional Fish and Game supervisor, David Parrish, spoke his mind about how a proposed wind farm might injure wildlife.
Parrish got demoted and transferred to Fish and Game's headquarters in Boise.
But the real victim is the political independence of Idaho's wildlife agency and its staffers. ...He ran afoul of three Republican lawmakers - Rep. Stephen Hartgen of Twin Falls, who worked as a consultant on the project; Sen. Bert Brackett of Rogerson, whose nephew owns land on which part of the wind farm could be built; and Assistant House Republican Leader Scott Bedke of Oakley -- who complained to Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter.
Some semblance of the Bush administration's notorious policy of silencing employees from speaking freely seems to have seeped into the personnel rules of Idaho Gov. Butch Otter.
One casualty of Otter's speak-no-evil speech restrictions is highly regarded, longtime state Fish and Game Regional Supervisor Dave Parrish, who was demoted and transferred from Twin Falls to Boise after writing a letter to the editor of the Twin Falls Times-News criticizing the impact on wildlife of a proposed wind-power generating farm in the Magic Valley.
The China Mountain Wind Farm, if constructed, may be positive for the local economy from a tax revenue standpoint, but it will have negative repercussions on Idaho's wildlife. It's a no-brainer - the footprint of a project that will cover prime habitat sage grouse, mule deer, antelope and other sagebrush dependent species.
Impacts will extend well beyond the acreage of sagebrush that's removed to support the infrastructure for the massive project which includes around 70 miles of new and improved roads, up to 15 miles of new power line construction, substations, maintenance facilities and more.
43 wind turbins on a mountainside are by definition a scarring of Idaho's natural beauty, and one would think that before such a facility would be approved it would be brought before the public.