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Proposed wind turbine in Comstock stirs debate

Residents weighed the greenness of wind power with the amount of visual pollution that the tall towering structures could bring to the popular 1860s-era tourist destination communities in the Comstock Historic District, designated a National Historic District. ...If placed on the ridge lines as the company proposes, the wind "turbines would be highly visible from Virginia City, Gold Hill and American Flat," [resident Ron] Reno said. Most of the wind turbine towers would be installed within the National Historic District and about half would in the Comstock Historic District.

Silver City residents expressed mixed reactions after learning of a proposed wind turbine project for the nearby ridge lines.

Residents weighed the greenness of wind power with the amount of visual pollution that the tall towering structures could bring to the popular 1860s-era tourist destination communities in the Comstock Historic District, designated a National Historic District.

Silver City resident Ron Reno told the town board he is not organizing opposition to Great Basin Wind's new Comstock project with about 70 three-bladed wind turbines on Bureau of Land Management property along Virginia Range ridge lines from Geiger Summit to McClellan Peak, just east of Washoe Valley and west of Virginia City.

"It's important that people have information about things of this magnitude with enough time to decide if it is a good thing or not," he said. "Wind power generation is a wonderful thing, but not in the Comstock Historic District."

If placed on the ridge lines as the company proposes, the wind "turbines would be highly visible from Virginia City, Gold Hill and American Flat," Reno said.

Most of the wind turbine towers would be installed within the National Historic District... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

Silver City residents expressed mixed reactions after learning of a proposed wind turbine project for the nearby ridge lines.

Residents weighed the greenness of wind power with the amount of visual pollution that the tall towering structures could bring to the popular 1860s-era tourist destination communities in the Comstock Historic District, designated a National Historic District.

Silver City resident Ron Reno told the town board he is not organizing opposition to Great Basin Wind's new Comstock project with about 70 three-bladed wind turbines on Bureau of Land Management property along Virginia Range ridge lines from Geiger Summit to McClellan Peak, just east of Washoe Valley and west of Virginia City.

"It's important that people have information about things of this magnitude with enough time to decide if it is a good thing or not," he said. "Wind power generation is a wonderful thing, but not in the Comstock Historic District."

If placed on the ridge lines as the company proposes, the wind "turbines would be highly visible from Virginia City, Gold Hill and American Flat," Reno said.

Most of the wind turbine towers would be installed within the National Historic District and about half would in the Comstock Historic District.

The company map shows the ridgeline above American Flat (above Mound House and to the west of Gold Hill) where tracks are being laid for the reconstruction of the V&T Railroad as one location where turbines would be visible on the Comstock side of the mountain range.

Another cluster on the map shows turbines atop Scott Peak above Virginia City where the Virginia City High School's giant white V is on the mountainside. Other turbines would be visible from Gold Hill.

Ken Nelson, real estate specialist with the BLM Carson City Field Office, said BLM must file a notice of intent and contract for an environmental impact study of noise, radar, telecommunications, watershed and other elements the project could impact that could take 18-24 months.

Nelson noted that part of the study would include impact on wildlife and bird and bat migration patterns and flyways.

Nelson said BLM wouldschedule public meetings in the three counties where the towers would be placed: Washoe, Storey and Carson City and possibly in Silver City at the end of this year or early in 2009.

"We need to know what the public believes are issues before we can move to the next step of the process," Nelson said. "We have a process, and as far as any actual construction could even begin, it would be sometime in 2010 at the earliest."

Comstock Historic District Administrator Bert Bedeau said the district must approve of any new structure and about half the turbines would beb i the district.

"The real trick is how they could disguise the thing so it would be in compliance with the district's requirements," he said.

According to documents filed with the BLM, Great Basin Wind estimates construction will take about six months.

Rich Hamilton is president of Great Basin Wind, has lived in the region for 12 years and owns 10 percent of the company. Hamilton has partnered with Oak Creek Energy of Escondido and Mojave in California for the project. According to Oak Creek's Web site, the company built one of California's first wind farms 25 years ago.

Hamilton could not be reached.


Source: http://www.rgj.com/apps/pbc...

SEP 29 2008
http://www.windaction.org/posts/17287-proposed-wind-turbine-in-comstock-stirs-debate
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