A year and a half after securing Bureau of Land Management (BLM) approval for a 100-unit wind farm on the Cotterel Mountains near Albion, Windland, Inc. has yet to lay definite plans for building the project.
Windland Director of Marketing and Development Mike Heckler said the windmills will eventually be built, but doing so depends on Windland’s ability to sell the up to 200 megawatts of power its Cotterel facility will produce.
“We continue to work with the BLM and collect wind data,” he said. “But the item that’s pacing when windmills are built on Cotterel Mountain are market conditions.”
Windland’s hopes for a contract for its Cotterel-generated power suffered a blow in August 2006 when Idaho Power chose a bid submitted by Horizon Wind Energy over Windland’s bid.
Heckler said Windland has not established a time frame in which it expects to complete its Cotterel project. But increasing skepticism about the viability of plants powered by coal and other fossil fuels may drive utilities to producers of clean and renewable energy sources like wind.
“Nobody’s building coal plants in this area. There’s just so much risk associated with restrictions on carbon dioxide emissions,” he said.
Once a contract for power from the Cotterel project has been confirmed, Heckler said, construction should be completed within one year.
By Sven Berg
13 February 2008
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