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Natrona County reverses position on wind towers

CASPER - The Natrona County Commission has reversed its denial of permits for three, 180-foot wind monitoring towers east of Evansville.

The commission rejected Chevron's application for permits for the project July 5. On Monday, however, one of the commissioners, Matt Keating, said the county should be open to alternative energy sources.

Chevron wants to build the towers so it can measure wind speed, direction and consistency over a year, according to Ray Cunningham, business development manager of the company's energy division.

Depending on that data, the company might then consult with a meteorologist to determine the placement of as many as 20, 240-foot wind turbines to generate electricity.

Cunningham said the company would need a separate permit for a wind farm.

But even Wyoming's wind doesn't guarantee viable wind farms. "Even in an area of a lot of wind, the placement of turbines is of critical importance," he said.

Commissioner Kathleen Dixon said Chevron's ultimate goal is not to monitor wind but to erect turbines. She also criticized wind turbines as noisy _ a point disputed by Cunningham.

"Early designs were a bit noisy because of the design," he said. Current designs, he said, are quiet enough to enable a conversation next to them.

Wind itself is noisy, he pointed out.

Keating cast... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

The commission rejected Chevron's application for permits for the project July 5. On Monday, however, one of the commissioners, Matt Keating, said the county should be open to alternative energy sources.

Chevron wants to build the towers so it can measure wind speed, direction and consistency over a year, according to Ray Cunningham, business development manager of the company's energy division.

Depending on that data, the company might then consult with a meteorologist to determine the placement of as many as 20, 240-foot wind turbines to generate electricity.

Cunningham said the company would need a separate permit for a wind farm.

But even Wyoming's wind doesn't guarantee viable wind farms. "Even in an area of a lot of wind, the placement of turbines is of critical importance," he said.

Commissioner Kathleen Dixon said Chevron's ultimate goal is not to monitor wind but to erect turbines. She also criticized wind turbines as noisy _ a point disputed by Cunningham.

"Early designs were a bit noisy because of the design," he said. Current designs, he said, are quiet enough to enable a conversation next to them.

Wind itself is noisy, he pointed out.

Keating cast the tie-breaking vote approving the permit.


Source: http://www.billingsgazette....

JUL 21 2006
https://www.windaction.org/posts/3599-natrona-county-reverses-position-on-wind-towers
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