Power

Lava Ridge Wind project in Idaho will double state’s generation capacity

Lava Ridge Wind

The Lava Ridge Wind project, proposed to be in Idaho, will more than double the state’s wind generation capacity; consequently, U.S. officials are on talks on how to develop the project, and taking comments on it.

Firstly, according to the Associated Press, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management is taking comments on the 1,000-megawatt project proposed by Magic Valley Energy; its massive scale will imply the installation of 400 wind turbines; which will be nearly 740 feet tall, higher than any other on the state.

Secondly, the agency is also holding virtual meetings on Sept. 8 and 9 to discuss the proposed project that would be built in parts of Jerome, Lincoln and Minidoka counties. The Lava Ridge Wind project will generate as much capacity to power around 300,000 homes.

Thirdly, the wind turbines will start construction soon; they will come from corridors covering about 119 square miles; which, about 114 miles of that is under the administration by the Bureau of Land Management; while the Idaho Department of Lands administers about 5 square miles.

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Lava Ridge Wind to include a transmission line

Moreover, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland in a statement about the project. “Renewable wind projects are a critical component of the Biden-Harris administration’s commitment to confronting climate change; also, promoting clean air and water for our current and future generations; which creates thousands of good-paying union jobs, and jump starting our country’s transition to a clean energy future.”

In addition, according to AP, the BLM will use the public comments it receives on the project for a draft of environmental impact statement; due out next summer, which will be followed by a final environmental impact statement in the fall of 2022; and a final decision shortly after.

Furthermore, the draft for environmental impact statement will look at loss of wildlife habitat; including for greater sage-grouse that have seen steep population declines in the U.S. West in recent decades.

Finally, the Lava Ridge Wind project includes a possible 500-kilovolt transmission line to an existing substation; operated by Idaho Power near Shoshone, or a different location not yet constructed. There are currently 541 wind turbines in Idaho; producing 973 megawatts, according to the U.S. Wind Turbine Database.

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