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Where there’s wind, there’s money.
In a move to capitalize upon Idaho’s neverending wind supply, Exergy Development Group has announced it plans to add 23 wind energy parks this year throughout the state.
Exergy will build four of the projects within Twin Falls County. The company already has seven projects operating in the county.
The company wanted to build more, but concerns from the community and environmental groups caused its proposed construction to be cut in half, said Dustin Shivly, Exergy project engineer.
“Everything has to be balanced,” he said. “We’re continually filtering through constraints. The wind might be there but we take a lot into consideration before moving forward.”
The wind projects will produce a total 116 megawatts of energy. The projects have also been approved to receive special rates under the federal Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act. The company was able to approve the contracts before the Idaho Public Utilities Commission changed the rate criteria last year.
The wind parks in Twin Falls County will produce 20 megawatts of power. New PURPA rates only qualify for projects producing up to 100 kilowatts or less.
Exergy will have contracts with Idaho Power Co., a company that has previously complained that wind energy companies were purposely splitting up wind developments into smaller projects to receive the special rates.
Idaho Power representatives were still checking to make sure Exergy was receiving the specialized rates when contacted by the Times-News.
“Clearly, if they do qualify, then obviously we would pay for the energy under the law,” said Brad Bowlin, spokesman for the utility company.
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