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NEEDLES — If the second two meetings went like the first two, support for the Crescent Peak Wind project is scarce. A total of four scoping meetings were held April 9-12 in Searchlight, Needles, Las Vegas and Henderson as part of the environmental impact statement process.
“People have labeled us against green energy,” Hamby said. “That is so far from the truth, it is laughable. ...but we don`t feel that it should be tested here within 300 feet of homes.”
But since the sun doesn’t shine all the time, the plant uses natural gas to keep the water hot. And, apparently, there hasn’t been enough sun to do that. Bright Source Energy, the company operating the plant, is petitioning the California government, requesting permission to burn more natural gas
The tower will be as wide as four football fields at its base and would be the second-tallest structure in the world. It would sit directly across the border with Mexico and cover 100 acres of desert.
Dorian Bishopp blames the solar panels on his roof for costing him almost 10 percent off the value of the home he sold in March. That’s because instead of owning them he leased the panels from SunPower Corp. (SPWR), requiring the new owner of the house to assume a contract with almost 19 years remaining.
A Texas-based company is looking to build a 51-megawatt wind farm in the desert, about 21 miles west of Willcox, near Muleshoe and War Bonnet Ranch Roads. Glenn Holliday of Houston, Texas, said Torch Renewable Energy, LLC (TRE) is submitting a Special Use Application (SUP) for development of the Red Horse 2 Wind Farm, in a Feb. 21 letter to Cochise County Planning Manager Michael Turisk.
Local wind turbine manufacturer Southwest Windpower laid off 14 more employees earlier this week at its Flagstaff manufacturing plant as well as several employees at their offices in Colorado.
Ryan said there are three overarching values in the county's comprehensive plan - protection of wildlife, conservation of view sheds and the promotion of alternative energy sources. "They're in conflict with each other," Ryan said.
"If you are going to really displace coal, nuclear and natural gas with renewables, it simply is not going to happen because of land area needed and habitat loss needed for solar and wind and how much wind and solar you would need," he said. "I would rather see these (wind) subsidies go to individuals who want solar or wind on their own property. Honestly, I think commercial-scale wind is a scam."
He could forget the wind farm idea, ask the Forest Service to drop the wind farm project area out of the land exchange, or try to get the Forest Service to accept land into its system that already contains the giant wind turbines, roads and other encumbrances.
One major hurdle for the project has been the fact that the U.S. Forest Service must approve easements for roads and utility lines, something it had denied, citing a 2005 law that disallows new encumbrances on the land.
For all his life, it was Fred Ruskin's dream to complete the largest land exchange in Arizona history and consolidate his family's huge northern Arizona ranch into a contiguous private parcel. Now that dream is in jeopardy because of a different dream of building a wind farm on the vast grasslands of the Yavapai Ranch.
The permitting process is just getting under way. In addition to the zoning change, Yavapai Wind will also need approval from the Arizona Corporation Commission, an environmental study, permission from the FAA for the towers and lighting, and more public participation meetings before the project gets the final green light.
As NextEra Energy Resources moves forward with plans for a wind farm on Perrin Ranch, a smaller renewable energy company is eyeing a second parcel of ranch land off Highway 64.
"I am against any kind of wind generation in our mountains," said Tom Thurman, District 2 supervisor. "They are gorgeous, they are pristine, there's wilderness just north of there." "[A wind farm is] going to be seen for miles and miles," he continued. "As far as I am concerned, I will fight it."
The Board of Supervisors approved conditional use permits for two companies to place up to four meteorological towers that will analyze wind speed, direction and other data. The companies are Invenergy Wind Development and Pacific Wind Development. Barry Weller, a member of the public, said that wind farms are a burden to communities and asked the board to please consider the issue before going further.
For more than nine hours, the Coconino County Planning and Zoning Commission weighed possible impacts to wildlife and scenery, renewable energy, night lighting and where to put the 62 towers (each 405 feet tall from ground to tip of blade at tallest). ...It appears likely that there will be an appeal.
Navajo lawmakers overturned a presidential veto of a wind energy project in Cameron hours after the override failed.
The Goldwater Institute took a fourth stab Tuesday at striking down rules in Arizona that force utilities to use renewable energy such as solar power. The institute's lawyer, Clint Bolick, argued in the Arizona Court of Appeals that the rules passed in 2006 by the Corporation Commission exceed the authority of those five elected officials who oversee utilities such as Arizona Public Service Co.
Florida-based NextEra Energy Resources is asking Coconino County officials for permission to install wind-measuring towers on ranch lands north of the San Francisco Peaks, and west and southwest of Valle that span hundreds of thousands of acres.