Wind Turbines Could Power 120,000 Arizona Homes in 2011

On the land of the Flying M Ranch, some 20+ miles southeast of Flagstaff Arizona, some big plans are in the works. One could even say that the winds of change are blowing – and those winds may be enough to power more than 120,000 homes in the area.

Foresight Wind Energy announced plans to build up to 330 large turbines on land currently owned by the ranch. These turbines, according to plans, can generate up to 500 megawatts of energy.

To put that kind of energy into perspective, it would be enough to power all of Flagstaff Arizona, as 100 megawatts, or 20% of the planned load, can power up to 30,000 area homes.

The Arizona Daily Star has more on the announcement…

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 project could cover 55 square miles, and if fully built-out, provide the equivalent of 500 megawatts of electricity. About 100 megawatts would power half of Flagstaff — or 25,000 to 30,000 homes in the Southwest. A 500-megawatt project would power 125,000 homes.

If approved and built, it would be the second major wind farm in the state, following a large array covering about 15 miles of ranch land between Holbrook and Heber.

Developers for this project first must get approval to tie into federal power lines and clear numerous other regulatory hurdles.

The proposed wind farm, called Grapevine Canyon Wind, would have turbines measuring 20 feet in diameter at the base and standing 325 high from base to hub.

Adding blades measuring 125 to 185 feet, the turbines could measure 500 feet with blades on them. They would be tall enough that they would have to be lit to avoid being hit by aircraft.

Foresight Wind Energy spokeswoman Amy LeGere said the power from the project would be marketed to Arizona and regional utilities. Arizona utility companies are under a renewable-energy standard requiring them to produce or purchase 15 percent of their energy portfolio from renewable sources.

The cost for wind-energy development is about $2.4 million per megawatt, LeGere said. A 100-megawatt phase would total about $240 million in capital investment.

Categorized | Energy, Energy & Fuels, Wind
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