Standing room only Wednesday in Bingham County, where an energy company is trying to get approval to build 150 wind turbines. The public meeting was still going on as of 10 p.m.
Ridgeline Energy, the same folks who built the wind turbines on Taylor Mountain and Wolverine Canyon need approval to get their turbines built on more than 22,000 acres in the Goshen Area.
Ridgeline Energy is looking for approval to build up at 150 wind turbines no taller than 492 feet each east of Blackfoot in Wolverine Canyon. If the Bingham County Planning and Zoning Commission give approval, from there they will have 10 days to go to the county commission.
Ridgeline Energy tells Local News 8 that if all the final approvals and permits are given, construction wouldn’t start until late 2009.
Ridgeline told commissioners Thursday night that they have looked all over the west for where they want to build this wind farm and they say Bingham County is a premiere site because the wind is great here plus Goshen is a perfect substation spot. But even though some are all about the wind farm, others don’t want to lose the beauty that eastern Idaho has to offer.
“We’re for the wind farm because we need additional income to support our ranch just so we can stay in the cattle business. By doing it with the wind, we found that it will not bother our cattle operation at all and we can generate a little income and we can generate a good, renewable source of energy for our county.” says Jack Webb, who is in favor of the wind farm
“I just can’t believe that everybody wants to go up there and destroy the beauty of that canyon and everything. They’ve destroyed all the Tex Creek area. They’re making bone area look so disgusting that you don’t even want to go up there anymore. And why do they have to go into wolverine canyon and do that?” says William Jones, who is against the wind farm proposal.
It really seems like this could go either way, the planning and zoning board did say at the beginning of the meeting that there is a chance they may not make a decision Thursday night. It all depended on the testimonies from the public but Local News 8 will continue to follow this story and as soon as we find out, we’ll let you know.
An interesting fact when it comes to roads in the area, Ridgeline Energy says if the wind farm is approved, then there will be 81 miles of new roads. Seventy percent will be upgrades to existing roads and 30 percent will be new roads.
By Genevieve Judge
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