County planners to review windfarm application

By Baker City Herald June 19, 2014 08:16 am

The Baker County Planning Commission will meet Thursday, June 26 to consider an application for a wind farm near Huntington.

The meeting will start at 5:30 p.m. at the Community Connection Senior Center, 2810 Cedar St. in Baker City.

The application is from Oregon Windfarms LLC of Kirkland, Wash. That company already has the county's approval for a total of 50 megawatts of electricity production from wind farms, said Tara Andrews, a planner with the county Planning Department.

The company originally proposed to build a pair of wind farms near Huntington, one north of Interstate 84 and one south.

The company's latest proposal is to install four to six wind turbines on private land about one mile south of the Lime wind farm, the county's only current wind development, Andrews said.

That wind farm, owned by Randy Joseph (a member of the planning commission) is on BLM land about five miles north of Huntington. Joseph's development has six turbines.

Andrews said Oregon Windfarms LLC, which is not associated with Joseph, apparently still intends to build the two original windfarms.

If county officials approve the company's current proposal, the company would have to reduce by four to six the number of turbines installed in the two originally proposed wind farms.

The Planning Commission denied the company's application last year, but the County Board of Commissioners overturned that decision.