Library from Arizona
Talk of a wind farm has blown into the artsy community of Bisbee, the latest in a long list of cities across the country now mired in the clean-energy debate. Some residents of the southeastern Arizona city support the renewable-energy source, while others don't want to see or hear turbines, typically hundreds of feet tall, spinning on their hillsides. The controversy highlights the dilemma faced by energy companies trying to pitch the inexpensive, non-polluting power source that, unlike many power plants, can't be tucked out of sight. ..."It's hard to get a handle on it because you want to save the environment, but you're destroying it to save it," said Todd Bogatay, a local architect and sculptor who crafted an off-grid home in the hills north of Bisbee. "There's got to be a better way."
The Cochise County Planning and Zoning Commission knows a bit more about wind turbines and wind power. At a work session held last night prior to the regular meeting, three experts in renewable energies and wind power gave a brief presentation ...Perhaps the most informative was Auberle, the man who headed the wind studies done for four prospective counties in the state that included Cochise. That study showed that only 2.2 percent of the county land was suitable for a wind plant and that plant would probably not be able to support more than a 60 MW (megawatt ) plant at that, based on data over the past 30 years from the National Weather Service and the restrictions on where wind farms can be placed. The most viable places for wind turbine placement in the county are in the Class 3 range, not good enough for a large plant.
On Wednesday, the Cochise County Planning and Zoning Commission will meet to gather information on permitting potential wind farms. California-based Clipper Windpower initiated the issue over possible wind generation in the Mule Mountains in Bisbee. The meeting, however, will not address any issues directly linked to Clipper's proposal ...
Rancher Dennis Maroney points to one of the sites proposed for anemometers on his ranch in McNeal. Clipper Windpower plans to determine the feasibility of a wind farm by installing the anemometers to measure wind speed and direction. On Wednesday, the Cochise County Planning and Zoning Commission will hold a work session to discuss the ins and outs of wind farms. "This is a fragile area," said Maroney as he tapped on the second "x." "The higher elevations of the mountains are not a good location for wind turbines." He worries about the environmental damage that could occur if a wind turbine power generating installation goes up in the high slopes. Road construction alone could cause irreparable damage. ...So just what are the regulations concerning the construction of wind turbine power generating projects? That's one of the questions that the Cochise County Planning and Zoning Commission will be asking at Wednesday's work session on wind power prompted by Clipper Windpower's excursion into the county. And they have asked some leaders in the renewable energy industry to come and talk about the in's and out's of wind turbines.
The 33-foot-tall metal structures also have generated quite a bluster at Bullhead City's municipal headquarters, where council members fret about the prospect of turbines popping up on properties throughout the community. So, the elected leaders passed a law, and the Endlines decided to fight City Hall. ...Mayor Jack Hakim says he and others were worried about blocked views, blight, safety hazards, noise pollution and neighborhood bickering. Because no other city in Arizona had a wind-turbine ordinance, Hakim adds, they had to make one up. The result, after a lot of debate, was a measure requiring at least 1 acre of land for a turbine and allowing no more than one per parcel. The Endlines, who previously had installed their second turbine, were out of conformance. The city insisted they pay $440 for a special-use permit. Larry says he was outraged by the political "babble" but even more upset because the new code blocks many others from using wind energy.
Chapter residents approved a resolution Sunday supporting Independent Power Projects Inc.'s plan to conduct a feasibility study for a wind farm to be located atop Gray Mountain, and asking the Navajo Nation Council to support the chapter-based effort. "We're just giving them the OK to do the feasibility study. That's it. If there's going to be all those wind turbines that's going to be put up, then we're going to negotiate with that company just like we're doing with IPP," Colorado said. ..."If we're going to do a wind farm out here, we're going to do one that can serve the community," he said. If they're not going to provide power to the community, "they're out of the picture."
Navajo Nation leaders are well aware that coal has fallen from favor in thisage of global warming. But to them, plans for a new power plant on the reservation mean more than rising temperatures and climate patterns. To them it is survival. The proposed Desert Rock Energy Project in northwestern New Mexico could add $50 million in revenue to their annual budget of about $130 million, excluding government contracts, and bring 1,000 construction jobs and 400 permanent positions to the plant and expanded mine. advertisement Environmentalists on and off the reservation are fighting the plans, saying that the region already suffers enough air pollution from existing coal plants and mines. They say the poverty-stricken tribe could see a bigger economic boost from developing wind and solar energy.
The hills of the Mule Mountains may become a test site for the first wind turbine generating plant in the county. Clipper Windpower has confirmed that negotiations are under way for land in the development of a small test site of around six propeller-style wind turbines. The company hopes to lease an unspecified number of acres that are owned by the State Land Department in the area of Davis Road and High Lonesome Road. Company officials also are talking to one landowner in the area hoping to secure a portion of that land as well. ...[Jim] Alexander has formed Save the Mule Mountains to mount opposition to the wind project. "Since that time we have been very busy trying to obtain all the information we can on wind power facilities," Alexander said. "The wind maps and studies indicate that for Cochise County the only viable locations for wind generating facilities are the ridge lines of the mountains.
The Arizona Republic reported that the windmills, standing 400 feet tall, would be erected as part of an agreement between the Navajo Nation and Citizens Energy, a Boston company. The Dine Wind Project would be the first commercial wind farm in the Grand Canyon State, the newspaper said. The agreement resulted from negotiations among Navajo Nation President Joe Shirley Jr., other key tribal officials and Citizens Energy Chairman Joseph Kennedy II, a former member of Congress.
Currently there is no wind power at all in Arizona, and the state's power comes almost entirely from coal, nuclear, natural gas and hydropower. Yet surging electricity needs in the state, combined with rising concerns over the contribution of carbon emissions to global warming, have made wind power an increasingly realistic option for the state's energy mix. ...According to Mohave County Supervisor Buster Johnson, even if Mayes were successful in persuading Arizona utilities to build wind projects in Mohave County, he would not support their construction. "I don't think the benefit is there, with jobs that will help our people," Johnson said. Johnson also stated that he opposed wind farms because they would fail to generate any tax revenue for the county. "The taxes would be a big concern of mine," he said. "The tax revenue is what we need to survive on. If we start giving these people hundreds of acres for free without paying taxes, we are hurting ourselves more than we're gaining by the production of renewable energy."
A Bureau of Land Management unsigned Finding of No Significant Impact and supporting Environmental Assessment for the proposed Dry Lake Wind Project are available for public review and comment through March 14. ...The proposed Dry Lake Wind Project would be located six to 18 miles north-northwest of the town of Snowflake, just east of State Highway 377 and southwest of the I-40 corridor. The project would provide up to 378 megawatts (MW) of wind energy and consist of multiple phases.
Western Electricity Coordinating Council (WECC) control area covers the western states of the United States including California, Arizona, portions of Montana, Idaho, Nevada etc. See: http://www.nerc.com/regional/ for a full map of the area.
WASHINGTON - The House rejected a resolution Wednesday that would block government plans to spur construction of major new power lines in many states regardless of local opposition. The issue has been contentious in parts of the East Coast and in the Southwest, where two high priority transmission corridors for power lines were proposed. Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va., warned colleagues that unwanted power lines could come to their district.
A new federal proposal to help electricity flow more freely could help the energy-choked East Coast. But it could also infuriate landowners, who have traditionally gotten their way in fights against utilities in Delaware. U.S. Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman last week named Delaware as part of his proposed eastern National Interest Electric Transmission Corridor. It would run from New York to Virginia, and west to Ohio. A second corridor would run through California, Arizona and Nevada.
The nation's top energy official on Thursday proposed naming a pair of "national interest electric transmission corridors," including one covering San Diego, Riverside and five other Southern California counties, as well as parts of Arizona and Nevada. Designating national power corridors could make it easier for San Diego Gas & Electric Co. to build a high-voltage power line across the county's desert and backcountry.
Operations for the Western Wind Energy project just outside Kingman were initially supposed to begin at the end of March. Problems, however, have pushed back the start date for the first wind energy farm in Arizona. “(The project) is in a little bit of a holding pattern until we can iron out a few issues,” said Mike Boyd, Western Wind Energy Corporation executive. Western Wind Energy, developer for the project, has full expectations of seeing this plan come to life, Boyd said. It currently holds the deed to 1,100 acres behind the Nucor Steel plant, with zoning in place to build the project. It hit a snag, Boyd said, in regards to transmission. Boyd said the company faces issues getting on line for a price it thought was reasonable.
After all the years of lip service about the potential for alternative-energy production in Arizona, especially solar, it's now down to brass tacks. Arizona Corporation Commission members Bill Mundell, Barry Wong, Kris Mayes and Jeff Hatch-Miller voted Tuesday for a measure, and Mike Gleason against, to require that 15 percent of the state's total energy production be from renewable-energy sources by 2025. A significant amount of that 15 percent - about one-third - by 2011 will come from so-called distributed energy, which is electricity produced by residential or non-utility-owned firms. In other words, commissioners opened the door for creative technologies in the fields of solar, wind, biomass and possibly geothermal to show they can produce substantial quantities of energy.
SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- A publicly owned Arizona utility is on the hunt for investors who will share its dream of restarting a shuttered coal-fired power plant in the Nevada desert that was abandoned by its other owners. Phoenix-based Salt River Project is working to build a new ownership group to buy and upgrade the 1,580-megawatt Mohave Generating Station. The plant, in Laughlin, Nev. near the Arizona border, was shut in December because its owners hadn't installed pollution control equipment required under a court-approved consent decree. The plant also faced other problems, including expiring coal and water supply contracts. To resolve a lawsuit by environmentalists concerned about the harmful effects of pollution from Mohave on wildlife at the nearby Grand Canyon National Park, the plant's owners agreed to either install pollution-control equipment or shut the plant by the end of 2005.
Issues such as transmission and sale of the energy produced by the wind farm are still being resolved, and PPM has been actively marketing to potential customers.
KINGMAN – Construction of the area’s first wind farm is set for October, planting 15 200-foot turbines at a site behind the Nucor Steel plant.