August 26, 2010

Grassroots group calls for moratorium on wind farm proposals

Brittany Borghi, Local News 8 Reporter, 25 August 2010

BONNEVILLE COUNTY, Idaho – The Bonneville County Planning and Zoning Commission is set to vote tonight on a proposal by Ridgeline Energy, LLC to construct a new 75 wind turbine facility in the county. But a local group is trying to blow Ridgeline out of town.

The grassroots organization, Idahoans for Responsible Wind Energy (IRWE), said they are in favor of developing wind farms in the area, but not without community input. IRWE is calling for a moratorium on all future proposals for wind energy facilities. A moratorium would allow more people to get informed and get involved, said IRWE spokeswoman Maureen Finnerty.

“We as Idahoans really need to help our local planners take control of this process and make sure that it doesn’t leave us with a legacy of turbines that we’ll live with for the next 300 years,” said Finnerty.

New wind farms may seem like they will open up new jobs, but energy companies like Ridgeline can bring in their own out-of-state employees, said Finnerty. People living near turbines have complained of health issues from the vibrations and noise from turbines as well, and the presence of a farm can send property values plummeting, but one of IRWE’s biggest concerns is maintaining the Gem State’s beautiful horizons, according to Finnerty.

The vote will happen at the County Commission hearing at 6:30 tonight in the Planning and Zoning Hearing Room in Idaho Falls.

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