Three projects seek to harnass wind energy

Three companies have received a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) from the San Juan County Planning and Zoning (P&Z) Board to pursue wind farms. With permits in hand, they now seek to secure financial backing by December 31, 2012.
After a lengthy and contentious P&Z meeting on October 4, the second and third company received a CUP. If completed, the wind farms could change the area landscape. Towers up to 500 feet tall may dot the landscape north of Monticello, with some towers close to city limits.
Wasatch Wind seeks to develop a 60-mega watt wind farm immediately north and west of Monticello that would have up to 27 wind turbines.
Approximately 15 people spoke about the project, with roughly half in favor and half opposed.
Supporters promoted the economic impacts, while those opposed are concerned about the impact of the towers, including flickering.
Monticello Mayor Doug Allen asked Wasatch Wind to provide models to help local residents better understand how towers may impact the landscape.
Two other projects northeast of Monticello, in the TARB area, also received a CUP. They have permission to seek energy credits for somewhat smaller, but similar wind farms.
A project by Summit Wind and a project by Champlin Windpower have received a CUP.
Wind power has been explored for more than a decade in the area. In 2011, Redco received a CUP, but declared bankruptcy before securing financing. Champlin purchased many assets of Redco.

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