Flickr photo of Montana wind turbinesÂ courtesy of sita puddin pie.
We’ve written previous posts about wind energy and the NIMBY attitude, where people like the concept of wind energy until someone wants to install it anywhere near them.
It looks like Montana is the latest state that planned to install wind, but then backed way off on how many turbines due to worries about the potentialÂ environmental impact of putting them in wilderness areas.
GreenHunter’s proposed 500-megawatt wind farm north of Glasgow, near the Canadian border, stirred a backlash this year from environmentalists worried that the 400-foot turbines would loom over an adjacent wilderness area.
GreenHunter had attempted to appease environmentalists by scaling the project back to 170 megawatts. When that, too, ran into opposition, the company was ready to suspend the project before local officials convinced it to return with a pared-down plan just 10 percent of its original size.
The Texas company now plans a project of only 50 megawatts and looks to take almost 90 percent of the $500 million it planned to invest in the Valley County site and sink it into a different wind project, most likely in California.
GreenHunter has also shelved three other Montana wind projects totaling 372 megawatts because of a capacity shortage on the transmission lines needed to carry the power. Construction of new lines has also stirred opposition from environmentalists and landowners.
I guess thatÂ Texas is going to remain the largest wind energy state for a while to come! There’s plenty of land in the lonely, empty West Texas plains. It’s just a matter of building the transmission lines to bring it to the rest of the state.