Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Local Wind Power

Finally, a real plan for a wind power plant in our area. Anybody who lives around here knows that we have plenty of wind, especially east of town. I've hiked in the Grapevine Canyon area, and there's plenty of room for a wind farm. Here's the proposal:

Wind developers are proposing to build the first major wind farm near Flagstaff on a cattle ranch about 22 miles southeast of the city.

Foresight Wind Energy is proposing to install 130 to 330 large turbines on the Flying M Ranch east of Mormon Lake and tie into federally owned power lines. In all, the proposed project could cover 55 square miles, and if fully built-out, provide the equivalent of 500 megawatts of electricity. About 100 megawatts of electricity would power half of Flagstaff -- or 25,000 to 30,000 homes in the Southwest. A 500 megawatt project would power 125,000 homes.

I do have some concerns about the location. There are areas around that are far windier, but the Flying M ranch happens to be owned by the right people:

The Flying M Ranch is owned by the Metzger family, which runs cattle on a checkerboard of state and private land. Mandy Metzger is a Coconino County supervisor.

It kind of sucks that an otherwise good idea comes with a taint of cronyism. I know Mandy, and did some volunteer work on her campaign, so I'm really hoping that there's nothing corrupt behind the land choice. But it is a concern that I plan to discuss with her.

But I'm glad that we're about to harvest the wind. Now we need more solar plants to go along with it. Because, along with wind, sunshine is another thing we have in abundance here. Witness the mighty solar powered garbage can:


cellogirl said...

Ohh, the Flagstaff solar garbage compactor. Just the fact that it exists makes me so freakin happy.

Demeur said...

We just got our first solar cans here in Seattle.

As for power their going to try out tidal power turbines. Should be installed by 2012.