Library from Idaho
A public meeting has been scheduled by the Bingham County Commissioners for 9 a.m. on May 27 in Courtroom 1 of the County Courthouse to hear two appeals filed by a group of area residents trying to stop a wind power project in the Wolverine area. ...The group is appealing an April 23 decision of the Bingham County Planning and Zoning Commission granting a special use permit to Ridgeline Energy, LLC for the Goshen South Wind Power Project that would put 150 wind turbines and appurtenant structures in a 20-mile corridor of the Blackfoot Mountains that encompasses 20,212 acres.
At the end of April, we told you about the Bingham County Planning and Zoning commission's approval of an application to build a wind turbine farm in the Wolverine Canyon area. Monday was the deadline for people to submit appeals to the decision. According to those that work in the Planning and Zoning office, two appeals were filed.
A special use permit for Ridgeline Energy's Goshen Wind Power Project was approved on a four to three vote by the Bingham County Planning and Zoning Commission on Wednesday night. ...Commission Chairman Merril Blake, who was spared from making a tie-breaking vote by the 4-3 decision, spoke against the project, saying it had been presented as a wind farm as though it were just another type of agriculture. He said the application doesn't meet the requirements for a special use stated in the zoning ordinance.
With a 4 to 3 vote, Bingham County Planning and Zoning Commissioners gave Ridgeline Energy the go ahead to build the Wolverine Canyon wind Farm consisting of 150 wind turbines that could be 492 feet tall. But there were some provisions to the approval and they can't break ground just yet. ...And if someone wants to appeal the commission's decision, they have 10 days to do so. And some landowners want to appeal.
For weeks now we've been telling you about a possible windmill farm that could be built in Bingham County. The Bingham County Planning and Zoning Commission has had two public hearings on the matter and tomorrow night, they will vote on whether to allow a special use permit that would make way for the wind farm to be built. But not everyone is happy about the possibility. Hear that, that's gold for some people, but others feel robbed by it. Orin Morgan is one of those. "I'm not really against wind power. We need other power sources, so I'm not against it, I'm just against the location."
No decision yet on a proposed wind farm in Bingham County. The meeting adjourned just before 1am Thursday morning and will pick back up on April 23rd. Back at the end of March, the Bingham County Zoning and Planning Commission held a hearing until close to 1 a.m. morning but no decision was made. So again Wednesday night, Ridgeline Energy was back to share their plans for 150 wind turbines in the Wolverine Canyon area, northeast of Blackfoot.
No decision yet on a proposed wind farm in Bingham County. As of 9 p.m. Wednesday night, the meeting is still going on and it started at 7 p.m. Back at the end of March, the Bingham County Zoning and Planning Commission held a hearing until close to 1 a.m. morning but no decision was made. So again Wednesday night, Ridgeline Energy was back to share their plans for 150 wind turbines in the Wolverine Canyon area, northeast of Blackfoot. ...Wednesday's meeting was just about packed. Those for the idea say it's a need in Bingham County while those against it say its wind turbines are needed just somewhere else.
Ridgeline Energy, the same folks who built the wind turbines on Taylor Mountain and Wolverine Canyon need approval to get their turbines built on more than 22,000 acres in the Goshen Area. Ridgeline Energy is looking for approval to build up at 150 wind turbines no taller than 492 feet each east of Blackfoot in Wolverine Canyon. ..."I just can't believe that everybody wants to go up there and destroy the beauty of that canyon and everything. They've destroyed all the Tex Creek area. They're making bone area look so disgusting that you don't even want to go up there anymore. And why do they have to go into wolverine canyon and do that?" says William Jones, who is against the wind farm proposal.
Excerpt of minutes from the Bingham County Planning and Zoning Commission public hearings on the Ridgeline Energy wind facility slated for Wolverine County. This except includes testimony by Idaho Fish and Game staff biologist Jim Mende.
Ridgeline Energy has resubmitted its application for a special use permit. The permit would allow Ridgeline to place 150 windmills in Wolverine Canyon. Last fall a special use permit was approved by the Planning and Zoning Commission, but after learning more than a dozen people didn't get notice of the public meeting, Bingham County commissioners overturned the decision.
To resolve cost issues, the utility commission established an amount that utilities can assess against wind developers to make up for the costs associated with integrating wind into the power grid. The commission also removed a cap on the size of small-power projects that can qualify for a rate published by the commission. However, the judgment was not easily reached. In 2005, Idaho Power asked the commission to suspend small-power wind development so it could study how much it costs the company to provide back-up generation when wind output fluctuates.
Idaho's regulated utilities, wind developers and state regulators have finally reached consensus on how much it costs to add wind to utilities' transmission grids. Three orders issued Tuesday by the Idaho Public Utilities Commission establish the amount of discounts utilities can assess against wind developers to account for the cost of integrating wind into their systems. The orders also remove a cap on the size of small-power projects that can qualify for a rate published by the commission.
A new House bill, gaining support among lawmakers in Boise, could spearhead the construction of renewable energy plants on Idaho's federal lands. If enacted, HB 500 would open up some of Idaho's endowment lands for the capture of renewable energy such as wind, geothermal or solar rays. That power could be used to satiate Idaho's growing energy needs or be sold to neighboring states.
A year and a half after securing Bureau of Land Management (BLM) approval for a 100-unit wind farm on the Cotterel Mountains near Albion, Windland, Inc. has yet to lay definite plans for building the project. Windland Director of Marketing and Development Mike Heckler said the windmills will eventually be built, but doing so depends on Windland's ability to sell the up to 200 megawatts of power its Cotterel facility will produce. "We continue to work with the BLM and collect wind data," he said. "But the item that's pacing when windmills are built on Cotterel Mountain are market conditions."
Proponents of a proposal to locate a massive power transmission line through southern Blaine County faced an avalanche of criticism Tuesday night when they presented the plan to a standing-room-only crowd in the Carey High School gymnasium. Energy giant Northwestern Energy, based in Sioux City, S.D., would like to build a 500-kilovolt line through southwestern Montana and southeastern Idaho ...Another reason new transmission lines are needed is to serve the growing green energy market, Jensen said. "We have got to expand the infrastructure in the country," he said. "There aren't adequate lines going to where the renewables are going to be developed."
A Seattle company has withdrawn plans to develop a wind farm in Eastern Idaho because local government leaders failed to properly notify affected landowners. ...The Bingham County Commission delayed a public hearing on the project Tuesday after learning that 75 landowners in two subdivisions near the site were not made aware of the hearing.
Ridgeline Energy has scrapped its plans to build a 150-turbine wind farm in Bingham County's Wolverine Canyon, which is a popular recreation site. After Bingham County openly made a serious mistake, the company, which also built a wind farm in Bonneville County, is back to the drawing board. So how exactly could this happen? These orange sections you see together make up the 48,000 miles of Wolverine Canyon. The county's planning and zoning department was supposed to notify anyone within 300 ft of the project, but they admit, overlooked some areas. Bower: "It was the counties mistake." Although they say it wasn't intentional.
According to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing, the Boise utility "determined that coal-fired generation is not the best technology to meet its resource needs in 2013." The company had planned to get an additional 250 megawatts from coal by then. Instead, it now aims to develop a new natural gas turbine somewhere in southern Idaho by 2012, to augment plans to add 101 megawatts of wind generation in December 2008 and 45.5 megawatts of geothermal generation in phases between 2007 and 2011. ..."The realities are, you still need a resource to back up nondispatchable resources like wind," he said. "As we look at it right now, the best immediate technology for today is a combined-cycle natural-gas power plant."
A group of eastern Idaho residents has banded together to oppose a proposed wind farm they say will destroy scenic views and harm wildlife. ...Coalition members said the 300-foot tall wind turbines, miles of roads and traffic will harm wildlife as well as be a disaster for people who like to hike, hunt, ride ATVs and go snowmobiling in the area. "Can you imagine looking up there and seeing windmills?" Grover said. "It's unbelievable."
A special use permit has already been approved in Bingham County for a Seattle-based company to build 150 wind turbines in the Wolverine Canyon area. But that decision is not going over well with dozens of people who own land in the area, and they filed an appeal with the Bingham County Commissioners. After hours of looking into all the facts, commissioners felt they needed more information before making their final decision. ..."We feel that the windmills are going to affect the scenery. It's gonna affect the way things are done historically. It's a recreational area and should be left as recreational area." In front of a packed courtroom, Bingham County Commissioners talked about the appeal and if all necessary steps were taken to notify people of the public hearing.