Library from Utah
UAMPS is looking to install a 108-megawatt wind farm in Bonneville County, Idaho, and needs cities to commit in advance in order to buy up to 56 wind turbines for the project. Amid the complicated numbers and projections that filled last week's meeting, one aspect became the decision's true hinge: Will the need for renewable energy in the future justify its higher cost now?
Guy and Beth Nelson thought they were going to cut their power bill when they installed a windmill ...But since the turbine went up last October, so have their power bills. They haven't received a credit for generating excess power that supposedly goes back into the grid, and Beth Nelson wonders if the new reversible meter the city installed is actually being sped up, instead of reversing, when the canyon winds blow.
Madison, Wis.-based RMT Inc. says it laid off some workers and reassigned others because of the delay.
The developer of Utah's largest commercial wind farm is putting a plan to expand the project on hold for now. First Wind spokesman John Lamontagne said the company has every reason to believe it can get started soon on 68 more turbines - once it wins a contract to sell the power.
Three environmental groups filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the federal government for its failure to immediately enact protections for the greater sage grouse ..."Delay in protecting the sage grouse is a recipe for extinction for these magnificent birds," said Jon Marvel, executive director of Western Watersheds Project.
A Utah startup says it will add sonar and laser devices along with mechanical wind meters to assess the potential for a wind farm along the Wyoming border. Together, the devices will tell the company where on leased lands to put spinning turbines of different sizes to match wind conditions.
The purpose of the nocturnal sojourns in the hilly terrain of cedar-juniper trees and sagebrush is capturing the greater sage grouse and outfitting them with radio collars. What biologists learn about the birds' habitat use and range will be used for environmental assessments or studies required when companies apply to lease land to build projects such as wind farms for generating electricity in Iron and Beaver counties.
The U.S. Bureau of Land Management and the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources are launching a study of the chicken-sized bird across more than 300 square miles in Iron and Beaver counties. The study area has a "high potential" for wind development but no projects have been launched yet, according to Christine Pontarolo, a biologist with the BLM's field office in Cedar City.
It was standing room only at Monday's public hearing during the Iron County Commission meeting addressing a proposed wind ordinance amendment recommended by the Iron County Planning Commission. The ordinance was not passed, at the urging of the public, so further studies could be conducted relating to fire hazards, erosion impact and power transmission corridors associated with wind farms.
In Utah, state officials are fielding various combinations of energy proposals, a list that includes solar and geothermal installations and an energy storage project ...Scores of projects - some speculative, others well-funded and a few quirky - have surfaced with energy companies eager to take advantage of loan guarantees and tax breaks being promoted by President Barack Obama.
The Iron County Planning Commission held a lengthy discussion Thursday night with state energy program representatives, wind energy company members and retailers, engineers and concerned residents on the county's proposed wind energy ordinance changes. The Iron County Commission hopes to pass changes to the current ordinance, which was adopted February 2008, after planners have a chance to elaborate on wind energy regulations for both residential and commercial areas.
In a lawsuit filed this week in federal court in San Francisco, the groups -- including the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance -- allege agencies that mapped the 6,000 miles of energy-corridor rights of way failed to analyze renewable-source locations and numerous federal and local land-use plans.
Rocky Mountain Power said Monday it will go to court to try to force the town of Willard to allow it to build a high-voltage transmission line through the city despite concerns that electric and magnetic fields from the project could harm the health of nearby residents and damage property values. The utility plans to ask a 1st District Court judge to bar the town from interfering with its construction.
There's a method of steering a big truck that's so obscure you've probably never heard of it, but it's considered dangerous enough to be banned in Utah and several other states. A KSL investigation shows it happens a lot, possibly as a matter of routine. The issue involves long loads like giant windmill blades. "Blade Runners" used to be rare, but the wind farm industry is booming, and some drivers are literally steering two vehicles at the same time.
Mountain West Energy Resources from the Salt Lake Valley is requesting a zone change from agricultural to industrial on Antelope Road in the Escalante Desert for 158 acres in its first phase of a 32- turbine wind farm. MWER owner, Mike Tyler, said the upstart company is vying to be the first wind producer in Utah to keep the power in the Rocky Mountain Power grid system. This system buys and sells power to neighboring states, such as Montana and Wyoming.
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.
No one was disputing that wind power is an abundant, affordable, readily available energy source but many residents of Kanarraville and New Harmony opposed the idea of it being harnessed by up to 50 wind turbines as proposed for the Harmony Mountains at a meeting sponsored by Wasatch Wind, on Thursday. "Why here," "Why us" and "Why now," were the three main questions posed by an audience of more than 300 people to representatives of the company.
A Heber City company wants to build an array of tall, electricity-generating windmills in southern Iron County's Harmony Mountains. And earlier this week, the public got a chance to weigh in on the Wasatch Wind proposal. Company officials acknowledge the approval process could take several years, but they want to start now to build a relationship with county residents.
A chunk of school trust land has been leased as part of the ongoing development of a wind farm in Beaver and Millard counties that will eventually sell power to numerous cities in Southern California. ...SITLA and a subsidiary of First Wind Energy signed the lease earlier this year for 1,560 acres that are expected to be home to 11 wind turbine generators. That represents just a small portion of the project that will eventually include 159 turbines that will be 262 feet high on 40 square miles of public and private land.
Independent wind power company First Wind has received approval from the U.S. Department of Interior's Bureau of Land Management (BLM) for the 300 MW Milford Wind Corridor project. The Bureau of Land Management conducted a National Environmental Policy Act environmental assessment for the facility and has decided to issue a permit for the project.