‘It’s a transfer of wealth’: Locals blow up massive Idaho wind project that will mostly export power to California

  • A proposed wind power project in Idaho that is awaiting approval by the Biden administration would threaten the main activities that the local area, the Daily Caller News Foundation, depends on.
  • Home Secretary Deb Haaland described the wind project, which could generate up to 1,000 megawatts of power annually, as part of the Biden administration’s efforts to secure a “clean energy future,” according to an August 2021 statement.
  • “I haven’t met a single person who wants these huge wind farms here,” Dean Dimond, a local farmer, told DCNF.

Local stakeholders told the Daily Caller News Foundation that a proposed wind power project in Idaho awaiting approval by the Biden administration would severely harm the surrounding community’s way of life while exporting energy to California and other western states.

Magic Valley Energy (MVE), and Subsidiary New York-based energy giant LS Power is awaiting approval from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to build 400 wind turbines across 73,000 acres of federal land along the Lava Ridge in southern Idaho, according company development plan. However, the proposed project would jeopardize the livelihoods of ranchers and farmers in the region in order to power other countries, the stakeholders told DCNF. (Related: Biden’s latest offshore wind lease sales mostly went to foreign energy companies.)

“I don’t know why they chose this area… The wind quality here is weak to moderate,” Dean Dimond, a local farmer, told DCNF. “I haven’t met a single person who wants these huge wind farms here.”

Once operational, the wind project will generate $4 million in annual tax revenue for the state government, according to the MVE Energy website. The development will initially create hundreds of construction jobs but will only employ 20 people once the project is built, according to March 2022 LS Power. press release.

Although MVE states that Idaho facilities will be able to purchase power generated from the turbines, most of the power will be exported to California and Nevada, according to Dimond. The company also notes that some of the energy will go to other western countries; California and Nevada residents pay Significantly for more electricity than in Idaho, which could make exporting power more profitable for MVE and LS Power.

The project will transmit electricity through an existing Idaho Midpoint substation or via Southwest Intertie Project Northern Portion, which to hand in Electricity to the states of California, Nevada and Arizona according to the company’s development plan. MVE says the project is needed to help Western countries meet their renewable energy goals; California and Nevada have some of the most ambitious green energy goals in the western US, with California requiring renewable energy sources to produce 100% of grid power by 2045 and nv Aims To make 100% of its energy “carbon neutral” by 2050.

“Four million dollars isn’t a lot of money when you consider how industrial activity, road construction, and the turbines themselves are severely affecting our wildlife, landscapes, and the tourism business,” John Arkush, a rancher working in the area, told DCNF. “The money won’t even come close to reimbursing Idaho for what they’re taking from us.

The project will place the windmills just two miles from the Minidoka National Historic Site space where Japanese Americans were interned during World War II, according To the Friends of Minidoka, a group that commemorates interned Japanese Americans. the organization States That the proximity of the turbines would harm Japanese Americans as well as Alaskan Natives who fought in the war and desecrated the historic site.

The Idaho chapter of the Sierra Club, a nonprofit environmental organization supports Wind energy expansion, also opposes the Lava Ridge project due to the potential of the proposed development to disable a site important to Asian American and Pacific Islander people, according to August 2022 statment.

Secretary of the Interior Department Deb Haaland He promoted the wind project, which could generate up to 1,000 megawatts of power annually, as part of the Biden administration’s efforts to secure a “clean energy future,” according In August 2021 Statement. Infrastructure for 2021 invoice and democrats climate bill providing tax credits to support wind projects such as Lava Ridge; Without this support, wind energy projects will not be economically viable. according to the MVE Web site.

“It’s a transfer of wealth from the United States government to some very large corporations,” Arkush said.

President Joe Biden points to a wind turbine size comparison chart during a meeting on the federal government’s Offshore Wind Implementation Partnership in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on June 23, 2022, in Washington, DC. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

In March 2022, LS Power too announce Development of a second wind project to be built on federal land in Twin Falls, southern Idaho, to provide green energy to the western states. The company stated that construction of the new wind farm could begin as early as 2024, adding that the development would generate more than $46 million in tax revenue.

“For years, BLM has been really worried about anything we do on our farm quotas, but now they’re turning these guys down to the ground.” male arkush. “Our water and recharge systems will be completely destroyed during the construction of the wind project, which could take up to 10 years.”

MVE said similar wind farms it has deployed across the country have been shown to be “compatible with farming and ranching communities,” according to a statement the company provided to DCNF. The company touted the project’s potential economic benefits and also stated that local community concerns would be addressed in a draft BLM environmental impact statement.

“Money isn’t important to us because we don’t want to change our way of life… If that were the case, we wouldn’t farm and live on this earth,” Dimon said.

LS Power, the Idaho Chapter of the Sierra Club, and BLM did not immediately respond to DCNF’s request for comment.

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