Library from Idaho
"It will be appealed and litigated to block it, and I think there's a good chance it can be stopped," Marvel said. "The Browns Bench and China Mountain area is acknowledged by all as a key, core area for the survival of sage grouse. It's ridiculous they even started the process to put in a wind farm at this location."
One of the Magic Valley's largest energy projects crossed a significant hurdle Friday with the release of a draft environmental analysis of its effects. The next step requires your help.
Lobbyists for wind energy companies stood in shocked disbelief Thursday after the Idaho Senate narrowly killed a measure to extend a sales tax rebate for alternative energy. ..."We already give them massive federal subsidies. If they can't survive on those alone, they should not have any more of our taxpayer dollars."
Before the 11-8 vote, however, Rep. Janice McGeachin told the House State Affairs Committee on Wednesday that she knew of two lawmakers who hadn't publicly disclosed their personal financial ties to wind projects while voting on a previous measure this session to extend a tax break for wind energy developers.
Loertscher's bill defines terms and sets out procedures and minimum standards for the placement of wind energy facilities. It would forbid counties from approving a turbine when its base would be less than 2 miles from a residential property line, unless the property owner waived the issue.
Wind farms would be forbidden within two miles of a residential property without the owner's permission, according to a measure that proposes strict new limits on where the tall turbines could be built.
House lawmakers voted 41-25 to give wind energy developers with projects nearing completion a tax break, while extending the benefit for most other forms of alternative energy development to 2014.
Roberts said that wind should be excluded because the program was designed to incentivize the creation of a new industry in the Gem State and that the rebate had achieved its purpose. "Wind energy is well-started," said Roberts.
Idahoans who have watched the debate over wind power in the Legislature and the Idaho Public Utilities Commission may remain skeptical. ...utility officials say solar power has the potential to fit Idaho Power's needs far better than wind. Both are intermittent sources. But the sun shines when it's hot outside, and that's when people use more power.
Just when it looked like wind industry lobbyists, Idaho Power Co. officials and the governor's office had struck a deal over extending Idaho's sales tax rebates for alternative energy, a little northern Idaho landfill power project intervened to put the package in jeopardy.
Following two days of testimony the House State Affairs Committee voted to quash a proposed moratorium on wind power development.
Opponents of wind energy, primarily from eastern Idaho, say that the state needs to slow down and develop a clearer plan that takes into account issues like the impact on nearby homeowners, the environment and utility rates.
The Idaho House of Representatives is considering a bill that places a moratorium on "certain industrial wind farms and wind turbines for a time certain and to provide for an update to the Idaho Energy Plan". The full bill can be accessed by clicking on the links at the bottom of this page.
Errol Jones, a member of the Bonneville County Planning and Zoning Commission, who is also for the moratorium, said at one time as a member of the board he was in favor of wind farms, but now says people need to really sit back and think about the consequences of building them.
Simpson told his colleagues that while he supports renewable energy, wind farms may be responsible for rate hikes in some areas of the Gem State.
The rebate program that exempts renewable energy developers from paying the state's 6 percent sales tax is set to expire on June 30. Meant to give the fledgling industry a foothold in Idaho when it passed the Legislature in 2005, the rebate has become central to the industry's business plans for the Gem State. Loss of the rebate would dull Idaho's competitive edge over other states.
The FWS recently released a draft of its voluntary guidelines for land-based wind energy project development in an effort to encourage responsible selection of project locations. The tougher guidelines could affect the China Mountain wind farm proposed for southern Twin Falls County, among others in Idaho, because they define "mitigation" as avoiding potential wildlife problems.
BLACKFOOT, Idaho -- On Tuesday afternoon, Bingham County commissioners shot down the second phase of a wind farm in Bingham county.
Idaho Power said it would accept these four projects to comply with its federal PURPA mandate to accept power generated from qualifying renewable facilities but, at the same time, stated that the "continuing and unchecked requirement" for Idaho Power to acquire additional intermittent generation regardless of the utility's need for additional energy "increases the price its customers must pay for their energy needs."
The Idaho Public Utilities Commission has temporarily lowered the maximum size of wind and solar plants that qualify under federal law for a program that requires power companies to buy their electricity at favorable rates.