Wind farm proposed for Iron County
New Harmony » Iron County's Harmony Mountains could soon generate renewable electricity if a Utah company's plan for a new wind farm gains approval.
Wasatch Wind Inc. is in the preliminary stages of seeing a 1,400-acre project approved on Bureau of Land Management land about five miles north of New Harmony and west of Interstate 15.
The project would include building about seven miles of transmission lines to tie into an existing power grid.
Another company is in the process of building a wind farm about 75 miles away in Beaver and Millard counties.
Christine Mikell, the project's senior manager, said the Heber City-based company is in the early stages of a process that could take more than five years to win BLM approval.
If approved, the site could include 50 wind turbines on towers 262 feet tall that would produce more than 100 megawatts of power, enough to supply energy for more than 80,000 homes.
"Things are very preliminary," Mikell said. "We're still collecting [wind] data and looking for a purchasing agreement to sell the power."
The site was chosen based on wind maps produced by the National Renewable Energy Office in Colorado and wind information complied by the state of Utah, Mikell said.
Wasatch Wind built a smaller wind farm near Spanish Fork that started generating power from nine turbines in September.
Company spokesman Lin Alder said the Spanish Fork site contributes about $112,000 in property taxes to Utah County and revenue generated for Iron County could be higher.
Alder said the project's timing is good.
"Society has shifted dramatically in favor of clean energy resources," Alder said.
Rachel Tueller, a BLM spokeswoman in Cedar City, said the agency knows about the project but hasn't received any official application for it.
Wasatch Wind has a three-year lease on the property and hopes to have an application to BLM within that time frame, Mikell said.
One likely attendee for Thursday's meeting at Southern Utah University is New Harmony resident Barbara Kuhl.
"I'm very interested in hearing about wind power," Kuhl said. "There is so much pollution from the carbon we burn. I'm open to new ideas."
Kuhl hopes others at the meeting also come with open minds.
"A lot of people don't like change," she said.
A meeting is scheduled to answer the public's questions about the Harmony Mountains Wind Farm on Thursdayat 6 p.m. in the Hunter Conference Center on the campus of Southern Utah University in Cedar City.
For more on Wasatch Wind, Inc., visit wasatchwind.com.