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Western Energy to appeal P&Z wind turbine decision

A local wind farm company hopes to get the green light to spin. Tuesday, Western Energy will appeal the Planning and Zoning Committee's decision that previously denied their special use permit. The company wants to build 66 turbines on about 5,000 acres in a private ranch just east of Shelley. ...Neighbors are seeing red over this spinning saga saying it will destroy the scenery. But Thompson argues it's his property and the view isn't a guarantee.

A local wind farm company hopes to get the green light to spin.

Tuesday, Western Energy will appeal the Planning and Zoning Committee's decision that previously denied their special use permit.

The company wants to build 66 turbines on about 5,000 acres in a private ranch just east of Shelley.

The company says not only would it bring millions into the county's tax revenue but in theory this one project would power all of the homes in the entire Bingham County and more.

"The wind blows and we might as well capitalize on it. It's just going to blow away if we don't," said Matt Thompson.

As hay prices go through the roof, the Thompson family struggles to make ends meet on their cattle ranch.

"It's not profitable right now to be in the cattle business. They're more of a liability than they are an asset at this point," said Thompson.

That's why they believe a wind farm would help them stay in business.

So, for the past few years anemometers stand in the sky testing how fast the winds blow.

Western Energy says the ridges along the Thompson's ranch warrant the wind turbines, calling it the next wave of what's to come.

"This is a chance for us to control our own destiny," said Steve Nielson,... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

A local wind farm company hopes to get the green light to spin.

Tuesday, Western Energy will appeal the Planning and Zoning Committee's decision that previously denied their special use permit.

The company wants to build 66 turbines on about 5,000 acres in a private ranch just east of Shelley.

The company says not only would it bring millions into the county's tax revenue but in theory this one project would power all of the homes in the entire Bingham County and more.

"The wind blows and we might as well capitalize on it. It's just going to blow away if we don't," said Matt Thompson.

As hay prices go through the roof, the Thompson family struggles to make ends meet on their cattle ranch.

"It's not profitable right now to be in the cattle business. They're more of a liability than they are an asset at this point," said Thompson.

That's why they believe a wind farm would help them stay in business.

So, for the past few years anemometers stand in the sky testing how fast the winds blow.

Western Energy says the ridges along the Thompson's ranch warrant the wind turbines, calling it the next wave of what's to come.

"This is a chance for us to control our own destiny," said Steve Nielson, Vice President of Western Energy. "When we do this, it makes us less dependable on foreign oil. It's a boost for the economy and we become self sufficient."

The company claims this $100 million project would draw workers from all across Eastern Idaho. Restaurants and hotels would see more green too.

Nielson says although the project spans more than 5,000 acres, the footprint of the turbines will take up less than two acres.

Neighbors are seeing red over this spinning saga saying it will destroy the scenery.

But Thompson argues it's his property and the view isn't a guarantee.

"My family has paid property taxes on this land for almost 100 years, 95 plus years, and nobody has ever offered us to pay for our view," Thompson joked.

A father and son, farming their land, just trying to put the wind to good use.

"We spend a lot of time in the wind and it'll be nice to get even with it I guess," Thompson said.

If they get the project approved, Western Energy says they hope to start moving dirt by spring 2009.

The Thompson family says they don't want to build anymore than what they're asking for.

They just hope to get all 66 turbines spinning soon.

The appeal is scheduled for 9:00a.m. Tuesday in the Bingham County Commissioner's office.


Source: http://www.localnews8.com/g...

AUG 5 2008
http://www.windaction.org/posts/16347-western-energy-to-appeal-p-z-wind-turbine-decision
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