The announcement that the US Department of the Interior approved the building of a 500MW wind farm in Arizona was made Wednesday, October 15. Once it is completed, the project is expected to provide the grid with electricity enough to power up 175,000 homes.
This announcement is made following the climate action plan of President Obama, a wide-
ranging set of strategies and actions to cut down energy inefficiency and carbon pollution globally and in America.
The Mohave County Wind Farm is the name of the Arizona wind project. The proposal for the project to erect 243 wind turbines on around 40 miles of Federal lands northwest of Kingman came from the BP Wind Energy North America. The approval smoothen the path for the provision of grants for right-of-way to almost 35,000 acres of land managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and 2,800 acres of land from the Bureau of Reclamation. There is a 1.2 mile barrier zone for the protection of adjacent golden eagle nesting sites as well as a pledge that a turbine won’t be built inside a quarter-mile distance from a private property.
Sally Jewell, Secretary of the Interior said that the project is precisely the kind of responsible moves needed to develop homespun, clean energy on America’s public lands and reduce carbon pollution affecting public health. She also said that this wind farm project illustrates that cutting down carbon pollution can also provide jobs and lessen the country’s dependence on foreign oil.
Neil Kornze, deputy director of BLM believe that the project is a reflection of the excellent cooperation between the Bureau of Reclamation, BLM, and other state and local as well as other Federal agencies to enable an exhaustive environmental review and forceful mitigation stipulations. He added that the decision characterizes a conscientious balance between the government’s mandate of protecting the public’s natural resources and the need for renewable energy.
Commissioner Michael L. Connor of the Bureau of Reclamation said he added his signature to approve this very important venture on the same week that the US President challenged the Department of the Interior to beef up their efforts to develop clean, renewable energy. He also said that they are happy to be a part of this significant wind energy project.
This new project brings to 46 geothermal, solar and wind projects on public lands approved by the Department of the Interior. Once completed, these projects are expected to provide sufficient energy to support more than 17,000 operations and construction jobs and distribute power to 4.4 million houses.