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Wind Energy and Idaho Falls

43 wind turbins on a mountainside are by definition a scarring of Idaho's natural beauty, and one would think that before such a facility would be approved it would be brought before the public.

Up until a couple weeks ago I didn't have any idea that there was anything happening in the area that was remotely tied to the wind generation of electricty. Then one morning I happened to notice a tower that seemed to be about 500 feet long being towed through town as an oversized load. Now, I have to admit that it wasn't really anywhere near that long, it just seemed to be.


I started asking around about the tower and was told I should look toward the mountains southeast of town. Darn if I couldn't see tiny structures that looked like they could be distant wind turbines! From doing a bit of research I've found that 43 of those towers have been, or are going to be snuck through town and I've only seen one of them go by. The December 5th issue of the Post Register reported 23 building permits as being issued in Idaho Falls for wind turbines to be constructed near Peterson Hill Rd and Bone Rd. 43 conditional use permits had been issued for turbines prior to May 3, 2005 by Bonnivelle and Bingham counties, so some of the building permits may have been issued outside of Idaho Falls.

This particular energy project is a 20 year agreement between PacifiCorp and a special purpose entity... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

Up until a couple weeks ago I didn't have any idea that there was anything happening in the area that was remotely tied to the wind generation of electricty. Then one morning I happened to notice a tower that seemed to be about 500 feet long being towed through town as an oversized load. Now, I have to admit that it wasn't really anywhere near that long, it just seemed to be.


I started asking around about the tower and was told I should look toward the mountains southeast of town. Darn if I couldn't see tiny structures that looked like they could be distant wind turbines! From doing a bit of research I've found that 43 of those towers have been, or are going to be snuck through town and I've only seen one of them go by. The December 5th issue of the Post Register reported 23 building permits as being issued in Idaho Falls for wind turbines to be constructed near Peterson Hill Rd and Bone Rd. 43 conditional use permits had been issued for turbines prior to May 3, 2005 by Bonnivelle and Bingham counties, so some of the building permits may have been issued outside of Idaho Falls.

This particular energy project is a 20 year agreement between PacifiCorp and a special purpose entity named Wolverine Creek Energy LLC. Wolverine Creek is owned by Invenergy, an energy generation and delivery company headquarted in Chicago.

According to PacifiCorp the project is expected to generate approximately 175,000 megawatt-hours of energy annually. Most homes use around eight-ten megawatt-hours a year, so wolverine Creek can't be considered small beans in the power generation industry. I understand that monitoring went on at the site southeast of town for two years to come up with that estimate. The facility was planned to be completed by Dec. 31, but I haven't determined whether the developers are on schedule.

We all know that the demand for energy is never going to subside. We're going to need more energy in 2010 than we do today, no logical argument will turn back that fact. There's something more than energy that I'm concerned with here though. I may be wrong, but to my memory I don't recall this energy project recieving much public scrutiny before having government approvals granted to it by two different counties.

43 wind turbins on a mountainside are by definition a scarring of Idaho's natural beauty, and one would think that before such a facility would be approved it would be brought before the public. If this were a plant on the river, the feds would practically be running the show through the Corp of Engineers with their infamous heavy handedness. Since it's nothing but a wind powered facility though, who cares? The 16 miles of connecting lines between the turbines and Goshen station where the energy will dump into the grid shouldn't be too much of a problem for a public that didn't mind when 43 wind turbines were being built on one of their mountainsides. Don't 'cha think?

Source: http://idahofallswatch.blog...

DEC 7 2005
http://www.windaction.org/posts/627-wind-energy-and-idaho-falls
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