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Taos wind farm hits turbulence

Plans for a wind farm in northern New Mexico hit some turbulence Tuesday as the Taos County Planning Commission postponed a decision in the face of local resistance. The Taos News reports that it was standing room only at the commission meeting Tuesday night where a proposal by Taos Wind Power to install 65 wind turbines outside Tres Piedras was to be voted on. The company, represented by attorney Eliu Romero, needs a variance to put up the towers, each of which is 284 feet high.

Plans for a wind farm in northern New Mexico hit some turbulence Tuesday as the Taos County Planning Commission postponed a decision in the face of local resistance.

The Taos News reports that it was standing room only at the commission meeting Tuesday night where a proposal by Taos Wind Power to install 65 wind turbines outside Tres Piedras was to be voted on. The company, represented by attorney Eliu Romero, needs a variance to put up the towers, each of which is 284 feet high.

As reported last month on this website, the Tres Piedras wind project would consist of two sites about 30 miles northwest of Taos. The investors hope to produce 120 megawatts of power from the project. Earlier this year, they installed two towers to monitor wind strength and consistency at the proposed sites, and while they said in late June that they still have nearly six months of data yet to collect, the results to date looked promising.

That assessment may be on the rosy side, if a U.S. Department of Energy assessment of wind energy potential is any guide. The agency's wind program developed a map showing wind potential in New Mexico that suggests the northern part of the state is far less promising than eastern New... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

Plans for a wind farm in northern New Mexico hit some turbulence Tuesday as the Taos County Planning Commission postponed a decision in the face of local resistance.

The Taos News reports that it was standing room only at the commission meeting Tuesday night where a proposal by Taos Wind Power to install 65 wind turbines outside Tres Piedras was to be voted on. The company, represented by attorney Eliu Romero, needs a variance to put up the towers, each of which is 284 feet high.

As reported last month on this website, the Tres Piedras wind project would consist of two sites about 30 miles northwest of Taos. The investors hope to produce 120 megawatts of power from the project. Earlier this year, they installed two towers to monitor wind strength and consistency at the proposed sites, and while they said in late June that they still have nearly six months of data yet to collect, the results to date looked promising.

That assessment may be on the rosy side, if a U.S. Department of Energy assessment of wind energy potential is any guide. The agency's wind program developed a map showing wind potential in New Mexico that suggests the northern part of the state is far less promising than eastern New Mexico, where a Florida company has already built one of the largest wind farms in the country.

Then again, a reader named "Taosman" e-mailed The Taos News, "The Dept. of Energy maps are vague and incorrect. They were based upon information from weather stations and weather buoys. We have neither of these here. So the company doing the wind farm must do their own wind study to determine feasibility."

The planning commission drew a number of opponents of the plan who cited concerns ranging from noise and interference with wildlife migration routes to loss of property values. Several who responded to The Taos News' initial story said the plan calls for installing turbine towers as close as 40 feet from residential property, and that solar power makes more sense in the region than wind.

Other readers said they welcomed the plan. "About time Taos leads the nation by example," one wrote.

The planning commission voted 6-1 to postpone its decisions on the height variance and two other permits until September in order to receive more technical information on the project.

 


Source: http://newmexicoindependent...

JUL 10 2008
http://www.windaction.org/posts/16331-taos-wind-farm-hits-turbulence
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