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Utility plans more wind projects  

Rocky Mountain Power is proposing to build up to three more big wind energy projects in Albany and Carbon counties over the next few years.

Pam Jackson, construction manager for the projects, said two of Rocky Mountain’s new wind farms are to be called the High Plains and McFadden Ridge projects. Applications for state Industrial Siting Commission permits are slated to be submitted in July.

The 99-megawatt High Plains project is expected to be producing power by June 2009, and the 88.5-megawatt McFadden Ridge project is scheduled to be operational by December 2010.

A total of 125 turbines are planned between the two projects, Jackson told the Carbon County Commission this week. A third, unnamed wind project also is in the works.

The two named projects are to be built mostly in Albany County, with about one-third of the total project area overlapping into eastern Carbon County north of McFadden, she said.

The projects would use GE turbines on top of tubular towers about 220 feet tall.

Jackson said a work force of about 250 people is expected to be needed for a few months to build the projects. About 19 people will be able to operate and maintain the farms in the long term.

The turbines are to be controlled mostly by computers linked by a fiber-optic system to both offices at the project site and Rocky Mountain’s main office in Salt Lake City.

Carbon County commissioners expressed concerns about what would be done when it came time to decommission the towers.

Jackson said the company obtains insurance to make sure decommissioning is done properly.

After construction is completed, most of the land in the project area would continue to be usable for grazing and ranching, she said.

Associated Press

casperstartribune.net

8 May 2008

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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