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Echo Canyon may soon have a wind farm

The drive between Coalville and Evanston may soon feature an additional view of wind turbines.

Summit County received a conditional use permit application for a wind farm in Echo Canyon. Summit County Development Director Pat Putt says they’ve been in conversations, planning and engineering the farm with Echo Divide Wind for almost two years.

“What they’re proposing to do is to build 100-megawatt wind farm in Echo Canyon, along I-80 just inside the Utah state line,” Putt continued. “About seven miles from Evanston. What this project would entail would be somewhere between 30 to 39 wind turbines.”

Putt says they’re working to identify areas in that stretch that would be best for those turbines.

“These generating wind towers would plug directly into the main Rocky Mountain Power transmission line,” Putt explained. “To kind of give you an idea of the magnitude of what this could mean, we’re being told this facility could generate the power for up to 22,000 Summit County homes annually. This could be something in terms of our sustainability initiative, this would be potentially a really big-ticket item.”

Putt says there’s a lot of work to be done still, including wildlife, noise and view shed studies.

“There are plans before this hits the East Side Planning Commission to go out and do community open houses and some outreach,” Putt said. “Both for Summit County and the residents of the Evanston area. We’re excited to entertain this application. It’s not that it doesn’t come with impacts, but we think that exploring those impacts and attempting to address them up front might help to move this towards some success.”

Putt says that the code does allow for wind turbines identified under the land use chart.