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Review period for Fountain Wind farm proposed in Shasta County extended

The deadline to submit public comments for a controversial wind-energy project in eastern Shasta County has been extended 16 days to Oct. 21.

The extension was granted “based on continued requests, the unusual circumstances created by the COVID-19 pandemic and the concurrence of the project applicant,” county Senior Planner Lio Salazar said in a new release.

This is the second time the comment period for the draft environmental impact report has been extended since the document was released for public review on Aug. 3.

ConnectGen wants to build the project, called Fountain Wind, on nearly 4,500 acres six miles west of Burney and one mile west of the existing Hatchet Ridge wind project.

The new wind turbine proposal would be on leased timberland near the communities of Montgomery Creek, Round Mountain, Oak Run, Moose Camp, Big Bend and Wengler.

The wind farm would feature up to 72 turbines that could be as high as 679 feet – higher than Shasta Dam.

The project would have a maximum generating capacity of 216 megawatts, enough to power more than 200,000 homes, according to a formula from the Lawrence Livermore Labs.

In the summer of 2019, a citizens’ group that opposes the project had asked the county to place a moratorium on any more large generation projects. Opponents also have been attending Shasta County Board of Supervisors meetings to voice their concerns about the project during the public comment period.

The project would come before the Board of Supervisors if the county Planning Commission’s decision is appealed.

County officials have not said when the project will come before the Planning Commission.

The draft EIR can be reviewed online at www.co.shasta.ca.us/index/drm/planning/eir/fountain-wind-project/draft-eir, or by appointment at local libraries, Hill Country Community Clinic and Shasta County Resource Management.