Library from Wyoming
A new proposal to build a 72-turbine wind farm on the south side of Aspen Mountain was presented at the Sweetwater County Commission meeting on Tuesday. The project is sponsored by enXco. ...However, several commissioners said it would be located in an area full of wildlife.
Costello said the proposed amendments are based on small wind energy system regulations in other counties throughout the state and region. "They take into account current standards that are pretty much nationwide," he said. "It's nice to consider the rights of the person who wants to put up a wind tower, but it shouldn't be at the expense of the neighbors."
Here's what we think: This wind farm is a game-changer. This cannot be understated. The Chokecherry Sierra Madre wind farm redefines Carbon County and, although it provides short- and, arguably, long-term monitory gains, it doesn't furnish enough benefits to raze our outdoors culture.
Wyoming is an ideal place to generate electricity from wind. But getting current from turbines to customers is a political and economic puzzle. How it plays out will have lessons for renewable-energy projects nationwide.
"The proposed ‘windmills' will not be small and quaint - there will be FOUR WIND TURBINES ATLEAST 45 feet tall plus a building and fence to secure the power plant," reads the declaration for the petition, led by Bondurant resident Keith Scharff. The request for a petition was attached to a letter sent to property owners within 1,000 feet of the Ordway property.
Several Rawlins residents at the open house were concerned about how the turbines will affect their view of Miller Hill, Sheep Mountain and other landmarks. Many people expressed disappointment some wind turbines would be visible from I-80. Residents were also concerned about the effect on hunting in the area.
The use of windmills to offset home power costs - and perhaps even spin the meter backward - has produced mixed results in La Plata County. "I'm disappointed in the production I'm getting," said Brad Blake, who installed a windmill 18 months ago on Florida Mesa. "It hasn't produced the power I expected."
The Bureau of Land Management released the draft of the environmental impact statement, or EIS, for the 1,000-turbine Chokecherry and Sierra Madre wind project planned by Power Co. of Wyoming LLC.
After reviewing population trends, hunter-harvest reports and licenses sales from the two states over the last 30 years, wildlife biologists concluded that oil and gas drilling, wind farms, agricultural practices and other human encroachments are slicing and dicing critical habitat the animals have historically relied upon to survive.
The Northern Laramie Range Alliance, or NRLA, a vocal group of nearby landowners and others opposed to the project, announced its plans for the lawsuit Tuesday. "We are disappointed with the decision of the Industrial Siting Council, as we believe Wasatch Wind did not meet the statuatory requirements.
In deliberations before their decision, commissioners expressed concern about how the wind turbines would affect nearby landowners, which mirrored complaints from the alliance and others. Some commissioners also were deeply concerned about the financial stability of California-based Edison Mission Energy.
A permit from the council is required for any wind energy project with 30 or more towers. The Wasatch wind farms, dubbed Pioneer I and II, will generate 100 megawatts of electricity apiece and cost between $180 million to $200 million, according to the company.
"The radar system to keep the turbine lights off at night is very important to us because it will resolve the largest concern we've heard among the residents and local governments of Converse and Natrona counties — keeping the night skies dark."
The commissioners emphasized that they would accept public comment up to when they make the decision. That decision date is not yet set but will be within 45 days of Monday's hearing. "We're not going to make a decision tonight," he said. "I think we have too much to digest."
As many local residents know, the winds of Wyoming are one of this land's most distinguishing features. ...But lately, this ever-present element has been bringing more than just tumble weeds to Converse County; a huge debate is now brewing over the question: are wind turbines really necessary?
Unless county commissions take a hard line on taxing wind energy production, local governments will lose the ability to recover the impacts of this growing industry, Natrona County commissioners said Tuesday.
There were fears that many landowners would not receive fair treatment and compensation in acquiring their land for the so-called connector lines because of the power of eminent domain hanging over their heads. With hundreds of turbines making up individual wind farms, the potential number of collector lines can be numerous and involve multiple landowners.
Citing the need for more information, the Albany County Commissioners have sent a proposed amendment to the county's regulations on small wind energy systems back to the county planning and zoning commission.
The town's three assessors voted unanimously to deny a permit to Highland Wind LLC, which wanted to string transmission wires over the southern portion of Rowe Pond Road. The wires are an essential component of the 39-turbine project in neighboring Highland Plantation and would have crossed near four houses and a small park in Pleasant Ridge Plantation.
A proposed two-year extension of Wyoming's moratorium on wind developers' eminent domain powers passed another legislative hurdle Wednesday. By a voice vote, state senators passed House Bill 230 on first reading. If left unchanged, the legislation must pass two more Senate votes before heading to Gov. Matt Mead for his signature.