It’s been two years since the China Mountain wind energy project was delayed. What’s the latest development, if any?
Renewable Energy Systems Americas Inc. (RESA) “has decided not to pursue further development of the China Mountain Wind Farm,” said Anna Giovinetto, vice president of corporate affairs. “The sage grouse population is facing a number of challenges, and for this reason we ultimately decided that the best option was not to pursue the project.”
The U.S. Bureau of Land Management had deferred a decision on the project in March 2012, “pending the completion of the Idaho and Southwestern Montana subregional Greater Sage-Grouse Land Use Plan Amendment and Environmental Impact Statement,” said BLM spokeswoman Heather Tiel-Nelson. “That document is expected to hit the street this fall.”
Based on ongoing threats to the bird its habitat, the BLM and U.S. Forest Service began to revise land-use plans for areas with sage-grouse habitat to incorporate consistent objectives and conservation measures into all relevant plans by this September.
The BLM has revegetated some sage-grouse habitat affected by wildfire, invasive weeds and conifer expansion.
RES had proposed developing a 425-megawatt commercial wind energy facility with 170 turbines on about 30,700 acres in the Jarbidge foothills, southwest of Rogerson. The site was partly public land administered by the BLM Elko District, Wells Field Office in northeastern Nevada, BLM Twin Falls District, Jarbidge Field Office and the state, as well as private land.
The project would have produced electricity for delivery to an existing transmission line, generating enough renewable energy to power more than 100,000 homes stretching from Elko to Laughlin, Nev.