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Torrance wind is piquing interest  

The Torrance County Planning and Zoning Department gets calls on a regular basis inquiring about wind in the area.

“I get a call or an application every week,” said Arthur Faust, who has been the county’s director of planning and zoning for about three months.

Most of the calls are inquiries about the strength and frequency of winds in the area or calls from wind energy companies that want to erect meteorological, or MET, towers to assess available wind in the area, Faust said.

Three companies have erected MET towers in the area since Faust assumed his post. The towers measure wind speed and duration to determine if a site is suitable for wind turbines that generate electricity.

Torrance County has been identified as a desirable location for wind, according to Faust.

“I’ve also been contacted by a Houston company that identifies possible areas for wind farms,” Faust said. “They gather data from different areas and act as an agent to wind farm companies. They were asking about seasonal wind and who was already here.”

On Nov. 6, the county planning and zoning board approved a conditional use permit along with a variance request by UPC Wind Management of San Diego, Calif. to install three MET towers standing 197 feet tall on private property used for grazing.

According to the material submitted by UPC, the towers are equipped with wind vanes and supported by aircraft-cable guy wires that are anchored in place in four directions.

High Lonesome Wind Ranch LLC, a partnership between Karbon Zero Energy LLC of Albuquerque and Foresight Wind Energy of Flagstaff was given permission to erect a sixth MET tower on Mesa de los Jumanos south of Willard in late July.

High Lonesome hopes to complete its wind energy facility, with a capability of generating up to 90 megawatts of energy, by early 2009.

“Everything is moving forward on the same timetable,” said Amy LeGere, regional development manager of the project, in an interview Saturday.

Invenergy Wind LLC, a company from Littleton, Colo., has also erected three MET towers in Torrance County. The three towers are located near Torrance, north of Encino and west of Duran.

By Laura Nesbitt

Mountain View Telegraph

15 November 2007

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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