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Toquerville OKs wind farm annexation  

Credit:  Kevin Jenkins | The Spectrum | February 21, 2015 | www.thespectrum.com ~~

TOQUERVILLE – City Council members have approved a proposed annexation of land north of Toquerville’s Anderson Junction that will open the way for a set of wind turbines that will supplement the city’s energy grid.

The council’s unanimous vote Feb. 12 pulls about 3,157.96 acres into the city limits, subject to the town surveyor’s final review of the Wind Song Annexation plat to ensure the boundaries.

City Attorney Heath Snow said no formal protest was expressed to the city during the public comment period last month, although Bureau of Land Management officials fielded a question about the federal land contained within the annexation area.

“I don’t think they fully understand that one of the reasons is the area is primarily for wind generation. The only development would be some windmill leases,” Snow said.

He clarified later that the wind turbine leases are on state-owned School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration property and the BLM land within the annexation is included only to avoid drawing in isolated islands of state property.

“There was a span of BLM property (that has to be crossed) to get to the next SITLA property,” Snow said.

According to the application filed with Toquerville officials, 23.89 acres of private property belonging to the William T. Davis IV and Nora P. Davis Trust would be included in the annexation, with the remainder of the annexed land almost evenly divided between BLM and SITLA property.

All three parties filed forms with the city stating that they either approved of the annexation or regarded themselves as a non-participant in the action.

Once the ordinance is signed and stamped, it will be sent to the office of Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox for certification. When the certificate is returned, it will be filed with the plat and all of the affected entities will receive a final notice of the annexation, City Recorder Renee Garner said.

A company called First Wind currently operates 165 wind turbines near Milford, generating power for about 60,000 homes in Southern California through an interstate transmission line while providing economic benefits for Beaver, Iron and Millard counties.

But no significant wind power is generated in Washington County.

The new wind turbine area is located on the west side of Interstate 15 near Pinto, capitalizing on weather patterns in the Black Ridge corridor, said Hurricane resident Jerry Eves, the developer with Southwest Wind Energy, LLC.

“This is the perfect combination of a whole bunch of natural and manmade factors,” Eves said in an interview last month while at the site. “Right now the wind’s blowing 25 to 45 mph at the tower. It was calm in St. George.”

Eves said he has been working on the project for more than 10 years, and incorporated Southwest Wind Energy about seven years ago.

“We submitted our application with the county in 2010. At that time we got approval for six turbines in Toquerville,” he said. “I’m hoping there will be more. … They’re a ways from being up.”

Eves said he will sell the produced energy to Rocky Mountain Power, utilizing a 69 kv power line the company runs within 300 yards of the property.

Whom the power company transmits the energy to “is up to them,” he said, but he wants the power to be used locally.

“I think it’s a good thing. Anything we can do to get back to (green energy) is great,” he said.

According to the September council meeting minutes, the city will receive some revenue from the wind farm and Southwest Wind Energy will defray some of the costs of annexation.

Source:  Kevin Jenkins | The Spectrum | February 21, 2015 | www.thespectrum.com

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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