Articles from Arizona
The ordinance would cover a variety of industrial energy generation projects including solar power, biomass and geothermal facilities but the main focus at the work session on July 27 dealt with wind power. Most of the discussion was even more narrow in scope, dealing with noise levels and setbacks of wind farms.
NextEra Energy Resources is planning 62 wind turbines for the high desert south of Grand Canyon to be built by 2012, making enough power for about 25,000 homes at once when the wind is blowing. The company is a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Inc., which also owns Florida Power and Light.
A new wind farm could be under construction soon, after Navajo County supervisors approved 4-1 a resolution for a special use permit for Iberdrola's Dry Lake II project. Although the request for the resolution came with a recommendation for approval from the planning and zoning commission, the matter, discussed at the supervisors' Tuesday meeting, was not passed quickly.
If a public-input session held last week is any indication, power transmission lines are not welcome neighbors, even if the electricity they carry is generated by renewable resources. ..."My general feeling is the Avra Valley is the dumping ground for anything that anybody else doesn't want in their backyard," he said.
Development of the second phase of the Dry Lake Wind Farm received a nod of approval from the Na-vajo County Planning and Zoning Commission last Thursday night as members unanimously approved a special use permit for the project. Final approval of the permit now rests with the county board of supervisors.
A request for special use permits for the second phase of the Dry Lake Wind Farm will go before the Navajo County Planning and Zoning Commission at 6 p.m. on Thursday, March 18, in the board of supervisors chambers at the county complex in Holbrook. The permit request is for both meteorological testing towers and wind turbines.
Ignoring threats by a company to pack up and leave, a House panel voted late Tuesday to overturn the renewable energy mandate on utilities by the Arizona Corporation Commission. HB2701 strips utility regulators of their authority to impose such requirements. In its place, it puts in a different mandate, this one crafted by Rep. Debbie Lesko, R-Glendale.
While they are in favor of the concept of renewable energy, members of the Cascabel Working Group (CWG) are opposed to the construction of a 460-mile, high-voltage power line across the middle San Pedro River. An estimated 100 people attended an informal meeting in Cascabel last week, where they told members of the Southwest Transmission Group that building power lines across the San Pedro would damage one of the world's only free-running rivers.
NACEL Energy, a wind power company, has announced it has submitted a formal request for interconnection to Arizona Public Service (APS) for the company's Snowflake wind power project. In an Internet document released Dec. 29, NACEL stated it had delivered engineering drawings and other technical documentation, including wind turbine selection and a proposed date for beginning operation.
The Navajo Nation has announced plans to break ground on a $200 million wind farm late in 2010 on ranch lands about 80 miles west of Flagstaff. If built, it would be the second large-scale wind farm in northern Arizona ...The Navajo Nation, Foresight Wind Energy and Edison Mission Energy propose to build a 48-turbine array by December 2011, and to sell the electricity produced from the wind farm in Arizona.
BP Wind Energy held three public meetings last week with the Bureau of Land Management to inform the public about its plans for a 500-megawatt wind farm near White Hills. ...[BP Wind Energy Business Development Director Daniel Runyan] agreed that there would be some noise while the turbines were operating, and the turbines could kill some birds and bats, but they would likely have no effect on large game animals, such as deer. BP and BLM are still working on wildlife studies.
Noise, property values and the visual impact on the desert landscape were several issues brought up Wednesday night concerning a proposed wind turbine project in Mohave County. BP Wind Energy of North America is seeking public comments for an environmental impact statement for the project. BP Wind Energy proposes to erect 335 wind turbine generators along with roads, power lines and substations.
A power transmission line that could be the first in the United States to transport renewable energy might pass through Las Cruces and White Sands Missile Range, according to preliminary plans of the SunZia Transmission Project. A public scoping meeting was conducted Monday at Court Youth Center to provide interested residents with information about the project. Plans call for wind energy generated in east-central New Mexico, near Clovis, to be transported 460 to 560 miles to a substation in south-central Arizona.
Residents of Snowflake need to educate themselves about the various aspects of wind and solar farms, including pluses and minuses. In his report to the Snowflake councilors at their Sept. 22 meeting, Town Manager Paul Watson brought that issue to their attention. "I'd like to talk about economic development, most especially wind and solar farms," he said. ..."Gary Gumbel, a local resident, is concerned about the issue and is trying to get a letter out to people in the area. I have similar concerns about some of the sentiments he relayed. I'm not saying no, but we need to be made aware of what is proposed as well as the economic advantages and disadvantages."
In Utah, state officials are fielding various combinations of energy proposals, a list that includes solar and geothermal installations and an energy storage project ...Scores of projects - some speculative, others well-funded and a few quirky - have surfaced with energy companies eager to take advantage of loan guarantees and tax breaks being promoted by President Barack Obama.
Navajo County Planning and Zoning officials have assured citizens that they would obtain additional information on a series of proposed wind and solar energy farms between Holbrook and Snowflake. Although much of that information is still forthcoming, Planner II Bill Fraley provided an update on what the county is doing to inform the public and help commissioners and supervisors make a decision on whether to issue special use permits for the project.
"People are distraught over something that's not even specified. It's not fair to the people, it's not fair to the watershed, it's just not fair to us and it's not appropriate," said Kathy Hemenway, who has been actively organizing citizens who live near the proposed energy farms. Another audience member noted, "We need a specific plan. We don't want to hear ‘maybes.' I don't think you should get any permits until we have specific site plans."
Environmental protection activists and proponents of the mining industry have collided over the U.S. Department of the Interior's recent decision to protect nearly one million acres of land near Grand Canyon National Park from new mining claims ...Popovich said the demand for clean, carbon-neutral energy sources cannot be met without disturbing the environment and regulations should seek to minimize and remediate disturbances without banning them altogether. "A single wind turbine requires 4.7 tons of copper," Popovich said. "A typical hybrid vehicle on the road today needs about 100 pounds of lithium and other rare Earth metals to make its battery.
The Arizona Corporation Commission has a mandate in place requiring that at least 15 percent of the state's energy come from renewable sources by the year 2025. But despite its intention to wean the state off fossil fuels, the move has drawn vocal criticism from free-market advocates such as the Goldwater Institute, which claims the mandate will cost utility customers billions over the next 15 years.
Wind developers are proposing to build the first major wind farm near Flagstaff on a cattle ranch about 22 miles southeast of the city. Foresight Wind Energy is proposing to install 130 to 330 large turbines on the Flying M Ranch east of Mormon Lake and tie into federally owned power lines. In all, the proposed project could cover 55 square miles.