Library from Idaho
So when the next threat came to the valley - a proposed transmission line of 190-foot-high towers that would run through their ranches and obscure their scenic views on its way to the Columbia River - folks here knew that words mattered. That was a lesson Idaho Power executives had to learn the hard way.
Planning and Zoning officials in Bingham County confirm another wind farm is being proposed for a remote area of the county. P&Z says they will discuss a special use permit for a 33 turbine farm applied for by Oregon-based Western Energy.
Ridgeline Energy, LLC and BP Wind Energy have announced Tuesday, March 16, that they are mobilizing the construction site for the Goshen North wind farm in Bonneville County, Idaho. When fully operational, the wind farm will have a generating capacity of 124.5 megawatts (MW) and will be the largest wind facility in the state of Idaho.
Idaho and the federal government have signed an agreement that offers incentive and protection for ranchers and landowners who voluntarily take conservation steps to improve the plight of the sage grouse. ...Todd Tucci, attorney for Advocates for the West, said the bigger challenge is dealing with sage grouse habitat on public land, where wind energy development, oil and natural gas drilling and cattle grazing pose thornier policy questions.
Sage grouse are being reviewed a second time because of a federal suit filed by Idaho's own Western Watersheds Project in 2006. In December 2007, U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill overturned a previous decision not to list the bird because of concerns about political meddling at the Interior Department. The judge ordered Fish and Wildlife to take another look.
Idaho Power Co. representative Randy Allphin presented sobering news to the Bellevue City Council on Thursday about the prospect of harnessing wind energy for electrical generation. "The wind itself just isn't here," Allphin said. Council Chairman Chris Koch had invited Allphin to speak on the topic.
Idaho Power representative Randy Allphin presented some sobering news to the Bellevue City Council Thursday on the prospect of harnessing wind energy for electrical generation. "The wind itself just isn't here," he said.
They may not be moving faster than a stiff breeze. But wind-farm proposals continue to float into the Magic Valley. The Twin Falls County Planning and Zoning Commission is set to hear requests for conditional-use permits for two new wind parks and permit changes for three others at a public hearing set for 7 p.m. Jan. 28.
The county looks close to approving an ordinance that would allow noncommercial turbines up to 40 feet tall on most lots in the county except the mountain overlay district (which includes many hillsides) and the county's scenic corridor. That corridor is defined as anything that can be seen from five feet above the centerline of Idaho Highway 75 from Glendale Road north. For lots larger than five acres, the county's planning staff would approve the application for a turbine.
Though a final decision has yet to be made, the Blaine County Commission made it clear this week that it does not favor allowing wind energy facilities in the "scenic corridor," the area visible from state Highway 75. It's the biggest issue the commission faces while continuing deliberations on a proposed ordinance regulating wind energy facilities. The meeting Tuesday at the Old County Courthouse in Hailey was the fifth public hearing on the issue and another, possibly the last, is set for Tuesday, Nov. 24, at 2 p.m.
Federal biologists are still researching what effects a 185-turbine wind farm would have on the desert southwest of Rogerson. But the U.S. Bureau of Land Management is now asking for more public comment on the proposal, this time on a modification to the resource management plan that governs whether the agency can even consider allowing a wind farm in its Jarbidge Field Office. The China Mountain project would place turbines generating up to 425 megawatts in parts of a largely federal, 30,700-acre area.
Bingham County Commission Chairman Cleone Jolley said a public hearing held at Shelley City Hall Thursday was aimed at disseminating information and collecting public input related to a proposed new ordinance regulating siting of wind turbines. Jolley said the proposed ordinance also regulates future construction of wind farms in the county. Currently, Bingham County has no ordinance pertaining to the new energy technology.
Ridgeline Energy is starting from scratch. The company that has been working since 2006 to build a wind farm on 20,212 acres west of Shelley has withdrawn its permit application with Bingham County's planning and zoning department. The wind farm isn't being abandoned altogether, though. ""We will be refiling a new application,"" project manager Randy Gardner said.
It's an on-going saga still spinning with controversy. Idaho Falls business mogul and Melaleuca CEO, Frank Vandersloot, gets deeper into the Bingham County windmill debate. He's known for strongly opposing the Wolverine Canyon windfarm project east of Blackfoot on the grounds it'll ruin the area's natural beauty. Recently, one of his companies called Natural Guardian sent out a survey to people living in Bingham County to see where they stand on the issue.
A local development that met an overwhelming amount of opposition was once approved, only to be denied based on land zoning technicalities. Some argue that very tall wind turbines should not mix with the scenic Wolverine Canyon area in Bingham County. Frank VanderSloot released the findings of his own survey on Wednesday. His findings indicate that the majority of people in Bingham County do not want to have anything to do with wind farms.
Blaine County commissioners are formulating an ordinance to allow wind turbine towers in the Wood River Valley. As proposed, the ordinance would allow windmills 40 feet tall with 12-foot blades within the scenic corridor along Highway 75. Protection of our scenic corridor has been a high priority with previous county administrations. ...Wind turbine construction has been very controversial in all parts of the United States, yet our commissioners are writing this ordinance without the input of Blaine County citizens.
Idaho Power Co. and Rocky Mountain Power, who want to snake a $7 billion network of 190-foot transmission towers across the West, face a tangled matrix of state and local barriers as challenging as the hardships faced by the pioneers who traveled much the same route on the Oregon Trail a century and a half ago. ..."These are projects everybody needs and nobody wants," said Lisa Grow, Idaho Power's vice president for transmission.
On Wednesday, August 19th, a Bingham County judge released a 38-page document overturning a Planning and Zoning Committee's approval to move forward with the proposed Wolverine Canyon wind-farm. The judge cited several areas in which he felt Ridgeline Energy's application for a special use permit was filed improperly.
An Aug. 13 decision in Bingham County court has delayed development of a 150-turbine wind farm in Wolverine Canyon near the Bingham-Bonneville county line. Judge Richard St. Clair ruled that because of errors in its application, and some conflicts of interest, Ridgeline Energy would have to go back to the county planning and zoning board to re-apply for a special use permit if it wants to build the Goshen South wind farm.
Wednesday afternoon Bingham County Judge Richard St. Clair notified attorneys for Ridgeline Energy they will have to re-apply for a special use zoning permit for a proposed 150 turbine wind farm in Wolverine Canyon. According to a 38 page ruling there were several errors made during Ridgeline Energy's application process, making it necessary to extend an already lengthy process.