Hailey may soon be set to harness the wind for electricity. On Monday, the City Council held a first reading of a proposed ordinance change that would permit installation of small-scale wind-energy systems.
The ordinance would allow for free-standing and rooftop-mounted wind turbines in the Business, Limited Industrial, Airport and SCI-Industrial zones.
Hailey Planner Mariel Platt told the council earlier this month that 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.
Platt addressed concerns that rooftop mounted turbines can cause structural damage to buildings, raised earlier this month by engineer Cal Strope, in a staff report prior to the meeting. She stated that she had found little cause for concern about structural damage on commercial buildings.
“I found the evidence which discredits roof-mounted systems entirely to be minimal,” she wrote.
The ordinance would allow for turbines up to 10 feet above maximum building height levels. One turbine will be allowed per single-ownership lot.
The turbines would be allowed on a conditional-use basis, taking into account wind speed readings on the proposed site as well as alternate sites on a particular lot.
If the turbine is not used or goes out of service for any reason, the city could terminate the conditional-use permit.
Building permits, including the stamp of approval from a licensed structural engineer, would be required before installing a wind turbine.
There will be two more public readings of the wind turbine ordinance before it becomes city law.
Tony Evans, Idaho Mountain Express – http://www.mtexpress.com/index2.php?ID=2005128894