Library filed under General from Nevada
Sundance Drive will soon be home to a 66-foot tall wind turbine tower, despite protests from 14 neighboring households. After a nearly three-hour appeal hearing Monday, Elko County Commissioners unanimously agreed with a decision by the Elko County Planning Commission to allow the tower.
Arguing neighbors often make for good comedy fodder in films and TV shows. But a dispute between neighbors about the legality of installing a 25-kilowatt wind turbine in one Reno community could have serious repercussions for the entire state's fledgling wind industry. The ongoing tiff started, interestingly enough, with an introduction letter, resident Richard Sowers said. Last December, the 58-year-old commercial airline pilot moved from Incline Village into a two-acre property in south Reno's Forest Hills subdivision. One of the first things Sowers did after moving in was to send a note to his neighbors. "I introduced myself and my daughter and explained that I bought this property and that I looked forward to bringing it back up to the standards of the neighborhood after it went through a time of neglect," said Sowers, who was reached by phone during a layover in Japan. One part of the letter, however, would ultimately pit Sowers against his new neighbors. Sowers told them he wanted to install a wind turbine in his backyard. Sowers, who grew up in a farm with a windmill, always has had a soft spot for wind turbines. The ability to generate wind power was a key consideration for his decision to choose this neighborhood, Sowers said. Washoe County's clear-cut guidelines regarding wind turbine installation were also a factor, Sowers added. "Given the big push in Nevada for going green and making the state a green energy leader, I thought the time has come for a sea of change to occur," Sowers said. "I thought there was going to be this big embrace for green."Ominous winds Sowers' plan to install a wind turbine quickly was met with concern. Shortly after sending out his letter, Sowers said he got a call from neighbor Karl Hall, deputy district attorney for Washoe County, to request a meeting. After walking around his property and discussing different options about the proposed installation, both neighbors failed to come to an agreement. A key sticking point was the turbine's height. Sowers initial plan was to install a turbine that was going to be more than 75 feet. Although Washoe County codes generally limit residential wind turbine installations to 75 feet, it allows for bigger turbines if a special permit is issued.
But the Halls say they were not alone in opposing the big machine. Anne Hall told us, "Of the 17 lots that make up Forest Hills subdivision, 16 are against this and 1 is for it." She says they don't like what it would do to their view, their quiet, and their property values.
The Henderson City Council proposed a compromise to settle an ongoing battle with a man who wants to build a 45-foot-tall wind turbine in his backyard. ...Kirk said the goal is to find a location "that is a little less densely populated and is probably a little more efficient for wind turbines." "I wouldn't want to live next to (a turbine) and I can almost guarantee I wouldn't buy a house next to one," Kirk said.
Chinese wind power provider A-Power Energy Generation Systems(SPWR) and its U.S.-based partners announced on Thursday plans to build a wind turbine production and assembly plant in Nevada that will create up to 1,000 permanent jobs for the state and more jobs during the construction phase. The announcement about the Nevada plant was notable for two reasons: the selection of Nevada as home state for the wind energy plant, and the political power broker who is associated with the state.
Duke Energy representative Robert Charlebois began Thursday afternoon's public meeting on the company's plans to build a large wind farm here by trying to make clear to residents that he had learned from earlier rejections. "I remember the first meeting walking out with the unambiguous understanding that our original proposal was completely unacceptable to the town," Charlebois said of a meeting in January on the wind project. "We went back to the drawing board."
On a vacant piece of land near Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada, the promise of solar energy has collided into the demands of military training. And a solar project that would have featured a vast field of mirrors, a molten-salt storage facility and a 600-foot "power tower" appears to be heading for defeat.
Col. Howard "Dave" Belote, commander of the 99th Air Base Wing at the Nellis Air Force Training Range, pledged to work together early in the process on projects like renewable energy in an attempt to dispel the military's image as an obstacle. "We're not trying to stop development, but we want to say we're here, we're going to be here for a long time," Belote told Nye County Commissioners Tuesday.
Over the objections of some Wilcox Ranch residents, Washoe County commissioners today approved a resolution to sponsor a regional planning amendment to create a new utility corridor for wind turbines in the mountains of Warm Springs Valley. The 17-mile route would be for a 120-kilovolt line to bring power from up to 70 wind turbines that Nevada Wind wants to put on Virginia Peak to a major power transfer station to the south in Tracy
Concerns over a proposed wind farm near Searchlight dominated a Tuesday town hall meeting hosted by County Commissioner Steve Sisolak in the rural community. ...Duke Energy has proposed erecting large wind turbines on public land surrounding Searchlight and many residents are worried that the wind project will ruin their views of the surrounding hills, damage wildlife and drive away tourists.
Nevada needs billions of dollars in new transmission lines if it is to capitalize on its renewable energy potential and become a net exporter of clean energy, Gov. Jim Gibbons said in a statement. He and other Western governors have called for changes in tax laws to further stimulate transmission line development.
A wind farm that would be Southern Nevada's first could sprout 30 miles south of Boulder City near Searchlight as soon as 2011. Some Searchlight residents, though thankful planners have already moved turbines because of their concerns, worry that the wind-powered energy plant would be ugly, noisy and deadly to wildlife. Yesterday, about 60 Searchlight and Cal-Nev-Ari residents met with planners ...
A planned windmill project would hurt the local economy and has no place in the county, Storey County officials said Tuesday. The 69 windmills proposed by Reno-based Great Basin Wind for mountains north of Carson City and west of Virginia City would affect tourism in the historic mining district and cause other problems, county commissioners and staff said.
Last week, the Bureau of Land Management authorized the establishment of special offices in Wyoming and other Western states to expedite that renewable energy development on federal public lands. BLM officials said Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne issued a Secretarial Order on Friday that will allow the agency to establish coordination offices in Wyoming, Arizona, California and Nevada.
Storey County officials want the public to tell the federal government what it thinks about a plan to build windmills on mountains north of Carson City and west of Virginia City. ...Most of the project would be in the National Historic District and about half would be in the Comstock Historic District.
Federal land managers said Monday they will gather public comment and assess the potential environmental impacts of a proposal to build dozens of wind-power turbines on the mountains north of Carson City and west of Virginia City.
Lincoln County Commissioners, during their regular meeting November 10, said they were not opposed to the development of wind-generated power in the County, but would rather seek different locations than the ones being proposed. Mission Edison Group, a subsidiary of Southern California Edison, had approached the County about building wind generators on Mt. Wilson and Table Mountain, both a little north of Pioche. County Commissioners have said they do not think those locations are the best places for such large generators.
Just as new wind power plans are being announced around Nevada, the state's counties are seeking power to kill such projects. ...It was the Wilson and Table mountains project that aroused county officials. A supposed threat to the habitat for deer and elk has hunters concerned, and hikers are upset for aesthetic reasons. Damage to the land when construction gear and material is hauled up the mountains would be repaired, sponsors of the project said, but not everyone accepted those assurances.
According to Sierra Pacific Power Co. spokesman Fay Anderson, there are several locations in Nevada being studied for wind-generated electricity projects, the farthest along outside of the Virginia Range project being in Elko County. There also are projects proposed for Lincoln, Clark and White Pine counties. ...
Before Nevada can become the Saudi Arabia of renewable energy, it will have to come to peace with the hunters in Lincoln County. In that rural stretch north of Las Vegas, county commissioners oppose plans to blanket four mountaintops with enough tall wind energy turbines to power 250,000 homes. Nothing against a wind farm, the elected officials say, they just don't want windmills atop prime elk and deer habitat where families have come for generations to hunt on federal lands. The dispute is opening a new front in the cultural and environmental wars in the West.