Article

Measure would give counties wind farm permit authority

A House committee has advanced a bill to give counties permitting authority over wind farms and set minimum development standards for wind projects. The Minerals Committee approved the measure Friday morning and sent it to the full House.

A House committee has advanced a bill to give counties permitting authority over wind farms and set minimum development standards for wind projects.

The Minerals Committee approved the measure Friday morning and sent it to the full House. Here's what House Bill 72 would do:

It would implement a county permitting process for new wind development while also allowing counties to enact tougher rules.

It would require wind developers to submit road, emergency, waste management, site and decommissioning plans to counties.

It would spell out minimum setbacks for turbines of at least 110 percent of a turbine's height from any public road, one-quarter mile from houses and one-half mile from city or town limits.

There now is one wind farm planned for Campbell County. Called the Reno Junction Wind Farm, it is being built about 35 miles south of Gillette straddling Highway 50 and will have 100 turbines.

Campbell County is now working on commercial wind farm zoning regulations and county officials have said they are watching several bills concerning wind power in the Legislature this year.

"If there are regulations coming from the state, we will look at those and see how they are... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

A House committee has advanced a bill to give counties permitting authority over wind farms and set minimum development standards for wind projects.

The Minerals Committee approved the measure Friday morning and sent it to the full House. Here's what House Bill 72 would do:

✔ It would implement a county permitting process for new wind development while also allowing counties to enact tougher rules.

✔ It would require wind developers to submit road, emergency, waste management, site and decommissioning plans to counties.

✔ It would spell out minimum setbacks for turbines of at least 110 percent of a turbine's height from any public road, one-quarter mile from houses and one-half mile from city or town limits.

There now is one wind farm planned for Campbell County. Called the Reno Junction Wind Farm, it is being built about 35 miles south of Gillette straddling Highway 50 and will have 100 turbines.

Campbell County is now working on commercial wind farm zoning regulations and county officials have said they are watching several bills concerning wind power in the Legislature this year.

"If there are regulations coming from the state, we will look at those and see how they are going to work," said Kevin King, Campbell County Public Works director.

The zoning regulations shouldn't be a deterrent to commercial wind power projects, King said.

A bill to impose a tax on the production of electricity from wind also has been introduced. House Bill 101 would tax commercial wind electricity production at a rate of $3 per megawatt hour. The revenue would be split with 40 percent going to local governments and 60 percent going to the state.


Source: http://www.gillettenewsreco...

FEB 12 2010
http://www.windaction.org/posts/24626-measure-would-give-counties-wind-farm-permit-authority
back to top