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Douglas to consider harnessing wind power

by Joey Crandall

MINDEN – A San Diego company plans to study the breezes crossing the Pine Nut Mountains east of Carson Valley for a potential wind farm.

SeaWest WindPower Inc., of San Diego, has applied to erect three meteorological towers in the Pine Nuts to collect and analyze wind speed data to determine if the area is economically feasible for a wind energy facility.

The Bureau of Land Management is asking Douglas County commissioners to take a position on the towers Thursday.

Two of the towers would be in Douglas County, with the third in Lyon County.

The towers are just over 160 feet tall and 6 inches in diameter. Construction on the first two towers would begin in the spring, with the third erected 12 to 18 months later if initial results are encouraging. Right-of-way on the project is for three years, with an option for renewal if further data collection is necessary.

Federal officials are not looking for specific approval or denial of the proposed project. Instead, they have asked for the county’s official position on the project to process the case and issue a formal decision to SeaWest.

The commission meets at 1 p.m., Thursday in the courtroom of the Douglas County Administration Building at 1616 Eighth St.

In other business, the board will discuss acceptance of a resignation letter from Commissioner Steve Weissinger and review the procedures to fill his vacancy.

Weissinger’s resignation would go into effect at 5 p.m. Dec. 31, at which point County Clerk Barbara Reed must certify the fact of the vacancy to the Nevada secretary of state.

The vacancy must be filled by appointment of the governor to an individual of the same party affiliation as the most recent holder of the seat.