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Taos Wind Farm, NM

STATUS: In progress with opposition

TYPE: Wind

OPPOSITION: Local Residents; The Cerro San Cristobal Ranch; Cielito Home and Land Owners Association

PROSPECTS:  Unlikely

BACKGROUND:  A local Taos banker and his partners at Taos Wind Power proposed to install up to 40 wind turbines atop 400-foot towers on land west of Taos. An estimated 169 construction and 26 permanent jobs would be created.

Residents near the project site began resisting it immediately upon hearing of the project. They are concerned about health impacts of noise and low-frequency vibrations from wind turbines, flashing strobe lights changing the night sky, turbine blades killing birds and giant structures forever changing the open plateau's landscape.

The Cerro San Cristobal Ranch and Cielito Home and Land Owners Association appealed a Taos County Planning Commission approval of the wind farm permit in December 2008 to the County Commission. The legal issue is not whether the wind farm idea has merit, but whether the planning commission acted outside their authority and violated land use regulations designed to protect the surrounding landowners and the environment. Members of the group started a Web site — http://talkingwind.blogspot.com/ — to post their latest findings on the impacts of wind farms.

In 2009, the County Commission denied the wind farm plan on appeal.  The reversal was based on the lack of corporate organization on the part of Taos Wind Power and the fact that individual property owners had lived long enough "in limbo" over this issue.

SOURCES: Santa Fe New Mexican.com: http://www.santafenewmexican.com/Local%20News/Solar-home-owners-oppose-wind-farm
The Free Library: http://www.thefreelibrary.com/TAOS+COUNTY+%3B+POWER+FIRM+FORCED+TO+REMOVE+WIND+TOWERS.-a0202698602
Talking Wind: http://talkingwind.blogspot.com/
The Taos News: http://www.taosnews.com/articles/2009/12/22/news/doc4b2bef6e19087246261504.txt

Last updated November 19, 2010