Library from Idaho
The Bingham County Idaho County Commissioners approved a wind proposal involving the construction of 81 miles of road and erecting 150 wind turbines across more than 17,600 acres of Wolverine Canyon. The area is locally designated as a Natural Resource/Agriculture district which, by definition, does not permit industrial, energy-producing, structures. The Commissioners ruled that since the wind energy facility was a "wind farm" it was therefore an agricultural use and thus permitted. The residents in the area filed an appeal with the courts. This document is one of several responsive briefs filed by the residents.
It's been in the works for more than a year and now, it's fate lies in the hands of the Judge Richard St. Clair. Will he decide in favor of moving forward with the controversial 150-turbine wind farm in Wolverine Canyon? Or, will Bingham County have to go back to the drawing board? ...Petitioners believe a wind farm can't go in Wolverine Canyon because it's zoned for natural resources or agriculture. They see wind turbines as industrial, not natural.
Mounting opposition from private landowners has prompted federal regulators to take an additional five to six months in the analysis of the Gateway West Transmission Line Project. The proposed high-voltage transmission line would span 1,150 miles from Glenrock to Melba, Idaho.
Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter and Wyoming Gov. Dave Freudenthal praised in separate press releases July 16 a decision by electric utilities and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to look at alternative routes for the Gateway West transmission project proposed by PacifiCorp and Idaho Power Co. The decision came in response to mounting concerns from constituents.
A Boise wind-farm developer plans to build a number of new farms this year in southern Idaho - a sign that the winds seem to still favor Idaho's renewable-energy industry. Boise-based Exergy Development Group's last Idaho project - Fossil Gulch - was the state's first "utility-scale" wind farm when it was built near Hagerman in 2004.
Now, three species in Idaho have the potential to be listed as endangered within just a few years. If any is granted federal protection, it could drastically change the nature of development across much of the West, where the open sagebrush-covered lands are still often the focus of development. A critical mass of conflicting factors is on the horizon as the growing energy needs of the West and a concerted push to develop wind energy land squarely in the front yard of two of the regions' most sensitive species.
June 15 will mark the passage of the new Madison County wind turbine ordinance (Zoning Ordinance No. 357) -- provided that no objections are filed by county residents prior to that date. On May 15, Madison County Commissioners adopted the findings of fact by the Madison Planning and Zoning Commission. The adoption means that unless public protest is given, the ordinance will be passed.
As the U.S. tries to reduce the climate change spurred by the warming of the atmosphere because of increasing carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels, alternative forms of energy production will be necessary. And yet, it doesn't make sense to trample sensitive ecosystems in the new rush to develop alternative energies. It would be an oxymoronic case of destroying the Earth in order to save it.
The Madison County Planning and Zoning Commission has finished drafting an ordinance to regulate the use of small and commercial wind turbines. According to Madison County P&Z Administrator Brent McFadden, the proposed ordinance has been in the works for the past six months. If passed, the wind turbine ordinance would amend Zoning Ordinance No. 176 by adding a chapter on wind turbine placement and specifications.
Plans by two electric utilities to build 1,150 miles of new high-voltage transmission lines across southern Idaho and Wyoming are on schedule, with a draft environmental impact statement on the work expected late this summer. ...Idaho Power began work on a series of environmental studies that will provide crucial information for the draft document.
Developers of a proposed 185-turbine wind farm and the Bureau of Land Management are continuing to gather information on the effects the farm would have on the sagebrush-filled desert southwest of Rogerson. The 425-megawatt China Mountain Wind Energy Project would be scattered across a 30,700-acre area. Though a draft environmental impact statement on the project is still a year away from release, the BLM this week launched a 30-day comment period on whether three meteorological towers should be placed in the area of the future farm. Several other towers already sit in the area.
A Bingham County judge granted a motion today delaying the construction of 150 wind turbines in Wolverine Canyon, even though the plan was approved by the Bingham County Planning and Zoning Commission. Thursday afternoon Judge Richard St. Clair granted two motions filed by groups opposed to the project. One of those motions will extend the discovery period, meaning the soonest oral arguments will be heard is end of July.
After nearly two years of planning, Utah's largest electric utility announced Tuesday that crews had begun constructing a $600 million, 135-mile high-voltage transmission line from a new substation near Downey, Idaho, to an existing substation near the Salt Lake City International Airport. Rocky Mountain Power spokesman David Eskelsen told the Deseret News that work on the Populus to Terminal transmission line is under way, with the first segment in PacifiCorp's Energy Gateway transmission expansion scheduled for completion in 2010.
It was a hot topic for months in Bingham County last year and Thursday it will be back in the lime light. The Ridgeline wind turbine project has been proposed to be built on 20,000 acres in Wolverine Canyon in Bingham County. The energy company wants to put in up to 150 turbines.
Arguments on motions by a group of Idaho Falls residents opposing development of a wind power project in Bingham County are scheduled to take place Thursday at the Bingham County Courthouse. The hearing is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. before 7th District Judge Richard St. Clair in Courtroom 1.
An equestrian subdivision and a 500,000-volt power line just don't mix. And, somewhat belatedly, Idaho Power Co. appears to have gotten the message. Company officials have redrawn the maps for the transmission line. At this point, none of their possible routes run near Parma. Score one, for the time being, for a small-town mayor who raised a big-time and much-justified ruckus.
This Idaho couple is learning an expensive lesson. Their newly installed residential windmill is not producing the benefits they were expecting. Click for additional information. Duration: 1 minute 49 seconds
Imagine spending $13 thousand dollars on a windmill that's supposed to save you money, but in the long run you install it and it only ends up only saving you a few pennies. "It's just really aggravating because we were led to believe that we were going to lose $30, $40, $50 dollars off our power bill every month. It's not going to happen," says Taylor. The Taylor's bought their windmill back in October and haven't seen a change in their bill.
Now Lucas is gearing up to fight the development of wind and solar alternative energy plants in the middle of the remaining sagebrush desert habitat that is the home of species ranging from sage grouse to antelope. He's not against the technology. And he is as concerned about reducing greenhouse gases that cause climate change as the next environmentalist. ..."I think there's a chance that these big solar farms and wind farms will be obsolete almost as soon as we develop them," Lucas said. "We need to somehow get people engaged directly in producing our own energy."