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Local Wind energy workshop to be set up

KINGMAN - Putting Mohave County on the cutting edge of alternative energy sources took a step forward at Wednesday's planning and zoning commission meeting.

Mohave County Planner Kevin Davidson presented an amendment that would define guidelines and construction of wind energy projects, the type of permits required and the proper zoning districts.

With the adoption of the amendment, the county would promote alternative energy sources like wind power to replace fossil fuel-generated power.

Davidson told commissioners the Arizona Corporation Commission will require utilities by 2025 to generate 15 percent of the energy produced from renewable resources.

This year, utilities generate 1.25 percent of energy used by consumers from renewable resources.

Renewable resources or green energy includes energy generated from solar, wind, geothermal and other clean energy technology.

The size of a property to place a smaller wind turbine drew concerns from the commissioners.

New Commissioner Larry Sinagoga asked if the minimum 20,000-square-foot lot was large enough for a wind turbine. Sinagoga suggested property owners of lots no smaller than one to five acres be allowed a use permit for a wind turbine.

Davidson assured that with current setback restrictions, if a 45 to 50-foot-tall wind turbine, which was centered on a property, fell it would not... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  
Mohave County Planner Kevin Davidson presented an amendment that would define guidelines and construction of wind energy projects, the type of permits required and the proper zoning districts.

With the adoption of the amendment, the county would promote alternative energy sources like wind power to replace fossil fuel-generated power.

Davidson told commissioners the Arizona Corporation Commission will require utilities by 2025 to generate 15 percent of the energy produced from renewable resources.

This year, utilities generate 1.25 percent of energy used by consumers from renewable resources.

Renewable resources or green energy includes energy generated from solar, wind, geothermal and other clean energy technology.

The size of a property to place a smaller wind turbine drew concerns from the commissioners.

New Commissioner Larry Sinagoga asked if the minimum 20,000-square-foot lot was large enough for a wind turbine. Sinagoga suggested property owners of lots no smaller than one to five acres be allowed a use permit for a wind turbine.

Davidson assured that with current setback restrictions, if a 45 to 50-foot-tall wind turbine, which was centered on a property, fell it would not interfere with a neighboring property.

One wind turbine that could cost as low as $1,500 could generate power for a single residence. Energy from up to a dozen turbines could also be sold to a local utility company.

Sinagoga also suggested using detailed maps to show where the best places for wind generation are in the county with zoning information.

Davidson said it takes about 12 to 13 mph of sustainable wind speed to generate enough energy from wind turbines.

According to a recent federal study, Bullhead City, Kingman and other areas of the county are some of the best places in the state for wind generation.

Commissioner Rodney Burgess said with the price of power escalating, every source of alternative energy is needed. Burgess also said wind energy turbines should not be restricted to the three-mile limit from scenic-designated highways.

Commissioner Bill Abbott cautioned the commission on the complexity of wind turbines.

The commission agreed to set up a workshop, possibly next month, to discuss the amendment to the county ordinance and asked staff to map out areas of the county taking into account zoning issues, scenic highways, residential areas and the best areas for wind generation.

The commission also approved a use permit for Mike Boyd of Western Wind Energy Corp. for two test towers on more than 800 acres of private land near the Nucor steel plant off Interstate 40 southwest of Kingman.

The 170-foot anemometer towers would test wind conditions for one year by downloading information of wind speeds and consistency. If the tests are successful, Boyd plans to install 15 wind turbines on the site, the first commercial wind farm in Arizona.

The 300-foot tall wind turbines could produce about 1 megawatt-hour of power each, which all 15 turbines could provide energy for 7,500 homes. It takes about 1 megawatt-hour of generated power to provide energy for about 500 homes.


Source: http://www.mohavedailynews....

APR 14 2006
http://www.windaction.org/posts/2146-local-wind-energy-workshop-to-be-set-up
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