Wind Farm Near Williams OK’d Over Objections

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — Coconino County planners have approved the installation of 62 large wind turbines on a ranch north of Williams despite the objections of nearby residents.

The county planning and zoning commission debated the impacts and benefits of the wind energy farm for more than nine hours before approving the project early Friday morning.

The plan calls for the 400-foot-tall electricity-generating windmills to be up and running by 2012, with the power being sold to Arizona Public Service Co. The project proposed by NextEra Energy will be installed on a ranch 13 miles north of Williams at an estimated cost of $180 million. The nearest home is 1½ miles away.

The Arizona Daily Sun reported that neighbors questioned the amount of power, impacts to wildlife and scenery, and the effects of aircraft warning lights placed on the towers.

The approval will likely be appealed to county supervisors, who previously approved another wind project east of Flagstaff that has yet to be built.

Letters of opposition vastly outweighed those from residents supporting the proposal.

Wind farms are proposed along the Aubrey Cliffs near Seligman, on neighboring ranch lands, and on Babbitt ranch lands north of the San Francisco Peaks.

The state’s largest wind farm is already operating outside Snowflake in the White Mountains.

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Information from: Arizona Daily Sun, http://www.azdailysun.com/

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