OPPOSITION: Citizens of Glasgow, Montana Wilderness Association, Montana Audubon and Wilderness Society
PROSPECTS: Not likely
BACKGROUND: GreenHunter Energy’s plans for the proposed Valley County Wind Farm, 500-megawatt wind farm north of Glasgow, were shelved after running into opposition from environmentalists. The environmentalist’s said the 400-foot tall turbines would loom over an adjacent wilderness area.
In November 2006, GreenHunter announced that it would scale down the project to 150MW/117 turbines, after local officials lobbied aggressively to have the wind farm restored. However, the comments echoed the previous ones, and by September 2007, GreenHunter announced that the project would be scaled back again to 50MW and entirely on private land. The turbines would be about 10 miles away from the 60,000 acre Bitter Creek Wilderness Study Area. The project continued facing opposition from environmentalists regarding wildlife, visual impacts and land use.
Company representatives cited the lack of “financial viability” as the major reason for scaling back the project. Transmission capacity issues could have played a role as well. Yet by early 2008, GreenHunter representatives were more directly citing the risk of further opposition as the main reason for shelving the project. Finally, in February 2008, the decision was made to make the project a test facility generating only 10 megawatts of energy.
SOURCES: Associated Press: http://www.kulr8.com/news/state/9970866.html; http://www.macalester.edu/windvisual/valleyinfo.html#sum;
Last updated November 18, 2010