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Economic and dam related articles

More Wind Turbines Coming
to Foothills in Bonneville County

by Staff
KIFI, July 7, 2006

The landscape on the foothills behind Idaho Falls may soon look a little different. There's a proposal to build 50 new wind turbines.

Right now there are 43 turbines on the hills. With the addition, there will be enough energy to run 47,000 homes.

The turbines that are up there right now can run 4,500 homes each. With the new ones built, they'll have more than enough energy to run all of the homes in Idaho Falls.

They're expensive hills.

"Each turbine [is] 250 feet tall, 260 feet diameter, big machines," said Manny Morrell the operations manager at the existing wind farm.

Right now over $43 million worth of machinery slowly spins in the foothills beyond Idaho Falls and there's a proposal to build fifty more.

"The beauty of them is that they're [an] environmentally friendly resource [that] is always going to be here," said Morrell.

Manny Morrell has been operations manager with the existing wind farm since they started spinning back in January.

"Initially [there were] bugs, startup issues, now things are going really well," said Morrell.

Things are going well and that's part of the reason Ridgeline Energy is interested in building a wind farm north of the turbines that are already there. They say the location is ideal, and there's strong community support.

Also the ranchers and farmers who own property in the foothills aren't complaining. Landowners get a percentage of the money from the energy that's produced on their property.

Once the turbines are erected, nearly $100 million will stand tall on the hills.

Ridgeline energy estimates that landowners earn $2,000 to $3,000 a year per turbine on their property.

Ridgeline Energy, the Washington based company that has proposed the new turbines, is awaiting a power agreement with utility companies before they can go forward with construction plans.

More Wind Turbines Coming to Foothills in Bonneville County
KIFI, July 7, 2006

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