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Wind-testing towers removed after county threatens court

Two wind-testing towers came down this week after Taos County threatened to prosecute Taos Wind Power if it did not remove them. One located on private property approximately 8.2 miles southeast of Tres Piedras and another 3.5 miles north of Tres Piedras, the towers were approved by the county Dec. 4, 2007.

Two wind-testing towers came down this week after Taos County threatened to prosecute Taos Wind Power if it did not remove them.

One located on private property approximately 8.2 miles southeast of Tres Piedras and another 3.5 miles north of Tres Piedras, the towers were approved by the county Dec. 4, 2007.

The purpose of the 197-foot-tall, 10-inch-diameter towers was to analyze wind conditions at sites proposed for electricity-generating "wind farms." The test towers were supposed to come down last December, though the county planning commission granted Wind Power a three-tofour- month "grace period."

Wind Power vice president Eliu Romero said the county shouldn't have been in such a hurry to have the towers removed.

"They bothered nothing. They're out in the middle of absolutely nowhere," Romero said.

In a request that the towers be allowed to remain up until Sept. 30, Romero said Wind Power's analysis of wind conditions at the sites was incomplete. However, the county denied Romero's request, saying in an April 13 letter that neighbors had not been properly notified about the hearing for the proposed extension.

The planning department said it would require a new special... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

Two wind-testing towers came down this week after Taos County threatened to prosecute Taos Wind Power if it did not remove them.

One located on private property approximately 8.2 miles southeast of Tres Piedras and another 3.5 miles north of Tres Piedras, the towers were approved by the county Dec. 4, 2007.

The purpose of the 197-foot-tall, 10-inch-diameter towers was to analyze wind conditions at sites proposed for electricity-generating "wind farms." The test towers were supposed to come down last December, though the county planning commission granted Wind Power a three-tofour- month "grace period."

Wind Power vice president Eliu Romero said the county shouldn't have been in such a hurry to have the towers removed.

"They bothered nothing. They're out in the middle of absolutely nowhere," Romero said.

In a request that the towers be allowed to remain up until Sept. 30, Romero said Wind Power's analysis of wind conditions at the sites was incomplete. However, the county denied Romero's request, saying in an April 13 letter that neighbors had not been properly notified about the hearing for the proposed extension.

The planning department said it would require a new special use permit application if Wind Power wanted to replace the towers. Assistant county attorney Adam Baker said Wind Power was granted an additional extension because the company hired an out-of-state contractor to remove the towers, but when they remained up more than a week into June, Baker said the county notified Wind Power of its intention to pursue legal action unless the company demonstrated a "good-faith effort" to take down the towers.

Romero said Taos Wind Power wanted to keep the towers up to show to investors the company is still courting, as the wind farm may cost as much as $80 million to build.

"We'll just have to do without them," he said.

Meanwhile, a court hearing between Taos Wind Power and Taos County is still pending. The Cerro San Cristóbal Ranch and Combined Cielito Home and Property Owners Association appealed to the county commission the planning commission's Dec. 9, 2008, approval of the preliminary plan for a 1,920-acre wind farm.

Taos Wind Power responded by obtaining an order of prohibition from District Court, which prevents the county commission from holding its appeal hearing until the court makes its ruling.


Source: http://taosnews.com/article...

JUN 30 2009
http://www.windaction.org/posts/20916-wind-testing-towers-removed-after-county-threatens-court
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