September 23, 2010

Blue Ribbon Energy proposes wind farm

By: Marissa Bodnar, Local News 8 Reporter, 22 September 2010

BINGHAM COUNTY, Idaho – Bingham County could soon move one step closer towards providing more green energy, relying not on foreign oil, but renewable sources.

Owners of Blue Ribbon Energy LLC are proposing to build four wind farms in an area known as the Goshen Bench.

“Our land is over here to the east,” gestured Jared Fielding.

Fielding has lived on his land for 35 years. He grows potatoes, wheat and alfalfa on his farm, and welcomes the idea of wind turbines on his property.

“With the rising expenses of everything, we are looking for a way to continue farming, that’s what we love to do, and raise our families here,” said Fielding.

The Taylor Mountain Wind Project would do just that.

Blue Ribbon Energy owners are proposing to build four wind farms on 2,500 acres of land. It would generate enough electricity to power 30,000 homes each year and supplement the income of land owners like Fielding, without interfering with farming.

“It will produce needed revenue to the local farming community,” said Blue Ribbon Energy co-owner and manager of the project, Arron F. Jepson.

Jepson said unlike some wind projects in Idaho, the energy would stay local and so would benefits for the economy.

“It will put several million dollars into the local economy to help with schools, libraries, things like that. It’s a great tax base for the county,” said Jepson.

“Well it is important. We have quite a few kids and they go to school down here and everybody is worried about the economy,” said Fielding.

The project would also help create jobs, both during construction and after.

“It will also continue to employ local people to help do the operations and maintenance of the farm, maintain the facilities, maintain the turbines and so forth,” said Jepson.

The project managers said Wednesday they will eliminate the three towers furthest to the northwest because some complained it would be too close to the town of Goshen.

The proposal was supposed to go before the Bingham County Planning and Zoning commission Wednesday night, but the meeting has been canceled due to the fire in downtown Blackfoot.

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