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Energy Northwest
Wants Taller Turbines

by Jessica Swain
KVEW, December 13, 2005

Some homeowners upset

Each taller turbine could equal the Space Needle in height. On a clear day Lisa Gifford can see the Nine Canyon Wind Farm from her front yard. Right now she doesn't mind it. "They're not an eye sore," says Gifford.

But Energy Northwest's plan to add more turbines nearly double the height doesn't sit well.

"I think the view would definetely change and wouldn't be as beautiful," says Gifford.

Energy Northwest has asked Benton County Commissioners to raise the height limitations on the wind turbines. The current turbines are 350 feet. Energy Northwest wants to add a dozen that are six hundred feet. That's roughly the size of Seattle's Space Needle.

"The technology is changing and in order to have efficient equipment to keep the cost of power down we'd like to raise the ceiling," says Energy Northwest Project Manager Dave Kobus.

Debbie Mallonee thinks it's a great idea and doesn't mind the obstructed view.

"I think they're interesting," says Mallonee. "They don't make any noise and to me they kind of add to the scenery a little bit. If it's going to help generate power at a decent rate, I say why not."

Right now county commissioners are drafting two proposals. One is to raise the maximum height. The other is to make exceptions on a case by case basis. Either way Energy Northwest says homeowners won't notice the height difference.

"These taller turbines although they're taller they'll be in location at the project we're it's gonna be hard to notice the difference," says Kobus.

Energy Northwest says right now the plan is to build taller turbines in canyons or further southwhere there aren't many homes.

Jessica Swain
Energy Northwest Wants Taller Turbines
KVEW, December 13, 2005

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