Northwest Renewable News

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small-Scale in town Wind turbine proposed in Sun Valley area November 11, 2009

Filed under: Idaho,Legal/Courts,Wind — nwrenewablenews @ 8:01 pm
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In the last few years, the city of Hailey has been a leader in “green” planning in the Wood River Valley, fast-tracking environmentally sound home designs through the city’s building process and taking steps to save energy at city offices.

Now, the Hailey Planning Department hopes to amend ordinances to facilitate small-scale wind and solar-powered electrical generation.

The city’s first permit for a free-standing wind turbine will likely go to Power Engineers on Glenbrook Drive.

The engineering firm’s representatives, Steve Deal and Carl Strope, presented plans for a free-standing, 30-foot-tall wind turbine at a City Council meeting Monday. They also provided the council with some free engineering advice as it considers ordinance changes that could soon allow for small, home-based wind turbines across the town.

“I am excited about this,” said Councilwoman Carol Brown after planner Mariel Platt presented the proposed ordinance changes, including photographs of several different types of wind turbines.

Platt said Hailey’s average wind speeds range up to 14 mph across the town. She said a home turbine in areas where winds average 6-12 mph could cover one-fifth to one-third of average household electrical needs.

“There is a big difference in wind speeds between the bike path area and Della View,” Platt said.

The proposed ordinance changes could allow for 20 decibels of noise, “equal to the sound of a whisper at the property line,” Platt said.

The council instructed Platt to continue researching household turbines after Deal and Strope warned against loud vibration noises in houses with rooftop mounted turbines.

“It would be difficult to live with,” Deal said.

Deal said the decision to erect a wind turbine at Power Engineers stemmed in part from numerous requests from potential clients to develop wind power. He said the turbine would be a “test case” for the engineering firm.

“We are going to collect data and see what they are all about,” he said. “Our intention is not to put Idaho Power out of business.”

The council expressed unanimous support for allowing wind turbines as a conditional use in the Business, SCI-Industrial, Light Industrial and Airport zones only, and expressed specific support for the Power Engineers turbine.

The council will continue discussion of siting, wind corridor access and other issues related to the proposed changes at a meeting Nov. 23 at 5:30 p.m. in Hailey City Hall.

“There is a big difference in wind speeds between the bike path area and Della View,” Platt said.

The proposed ordinance changes could allow for 20 decibels of noise, “equal to the sound of a whisper at the property line,” Platt said.

The council instructed Platt to continue researching household turbines after Deal and Strope warned against loud vibration noises in houses with rooftop mounted turbines.

“It would be difficult to live with,” Deal said.

Deal said the decision to erect a wind turbine at Power Engineers stemmed in part from numerous requests from potential clients to develop wind power. He said the turbine would be a “test case” for the engineering firm.

“We are going to collect data and see what they are all about,” he said. “Our intention is not to put Idaho Power out of business.”

The council expressed unanimous support for allowing wind turbines as a conditional use in the Business, SCI-Industrial, Light Industrial and Airport zones only, and expressed specific support for the Power Engineers turbine.

The council will continue discussion of siting, wind corridor access and other issues related to the proposed changes at a meeting Nov. 23 at 5:30 p.m. in Hailey City Hall.

“There is a big difference in wind speeds between the bike path area and Della View,” Platt said.

The proposed ordinance changes could allow for 20 decibels of noise, “equal to the sound of a whisper at the property line,” Platt said.

The council instructed Platt to continue researching household turbines after Deal and Strope warned against loud vibration noises in houses with rooftop mounted turbines.

“It would be difficult to live with,” Deal said.

Deal said the decision to erect a wind turbine at Power Engineers stemmed in part from numerous requests from potential clients to develop wind power. He said the turbine would be a “test case” for the engineering firm.

“We are going to collect data and see what they are all about,” he said. “Our intention is not to put Idaho Power out of business.”

The council expressed unanimous support for allowing wind turbines as a conditional use in the Business, SCI-Industrial, Light Industrial and Airport zones only, and expressed specific support for the Power Engineers turbine.

The council will continue discussion of siting, wind corridor access and other issues related to the proposed changes at a meeting Nov. 23 at 5:30 p.m. in Hailey City Hall.

TONY EVANS, Idaho Mountain Expresshttp://www.mtexpress.com/index2.php?ID=2005128730

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