WILLIAMS – As NextEra Energy Resources moves forward with plans for a wind farm on Perrin Ranch, a smaller renewable energy company is eyeing a second parcel of ranch land off Highway 64.
The Coconino County Planning and Zoning Commission recently approved the installation of two meteorological test towers on ranch land owned by Frank McNelly during their April 5 meeting. Torch Renewable Energy, LLC based in Houston, Texas, will install the towers.
Coconino County Community Development Director Bill Towler said some opponents of the Perrin Ranch Wind Project were in attendance to voice opposition to the meteorological towers.
“Mostly they were opposing a future wind project out there and not the met towers themselves,” he said. “A lot of the testimony was about that and not the met towers, which is what the commission was hearing.”
The first tower will be placed approximately four miles west of Highway 64 about one mile north of Willaha Road. The second will be placed nine miles west of Highway 64 on the south side of Willaha Road.
Towler said neither tower will be visible from the highway or by residents living in Howard Mesa.
McNelly said he was approached by Torch about a possible wind project on his ranch although the scale of a possible project has yet to be determined.
“They have to prove that the wind resources are there,” he said. “That’s what these towers are for.”
McNelly said claims by opponents that there are not enough wind resources in the region to warrant development of wind projects along Highway 64 are unfounded.
“If they think that, they’ve never been out here,” McNelly said.
He added that his decision to allow the test towers on his property was economically driven.
“It’s an economic decision as far as the ranch goes,” McNelly said. “As far as anybody would view it. If it wasn’t going to make any money, why the hell would you do it?”
Torch Renewable Energy is a subsidiary of Torch Energy Advisors Incorporated (“TEAI”), a diversified energy company that, according to information from its website, has 27 years of experience developing, acquiring, and operating over $10 billion of oil and gas properties, gas pipelines and processing facilities, oil and gas services businesses, and renewable energy projects.
For more information about TEAI, please visit www.teai.com.
As of press time, representatives of Torch did not return calls from the News.
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