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Trusted local news leader for Kingman, Arizona & Mohave County
11:15 PM Wed, Nov. 14th

Plans change on White Hills wind farm project

KINGMAN - Change is in the wind for a wind farm off of U.S. 93 near White Hills. The Bureau of Land Management recently issued an update on the Mohave County Wind Farm Project proposed by BP Wind Energy, stating that a section of more than 7,000 acres of private and public land is no longer under consideration for the second phase of the project.

White Hills is located about 40 miles north of Kingman on U.S. 93. The project, when completed, would consist of no more than 333 wind turbines and generate up to 500-megawatts of power.

According to BLM Project Manager Jerry Crockford, additional studies have shown that the phase 2 area, located to the east of the main project, does not have the wind resources that BP and the BLM thought it had. The project may also conflict with mining claims in the area, he said.

Topographical maps of the area show a mountainous region. The Mohave County Assessor's Web site shows that there are a number of different landowners in the area, including Silver Basin, Inc., a Las Vegas real estate company.

The Arizona Corporation Commission lists Leonard Mardian as the company's president.

Instead of using the 7,000 acres of private and public land originally designated for phase 2, the project will use between 31,300 to 40,300 acres of BLM land and about 9,000 acres of Bureau of Reclamation land to the west of the project.

The newsletter also states that BP and the BLM are considering a partnership with Hualapai Valley Solar to create one connection point for both energy plants, with one of the electrical transmission lines running through the area. Crockford said a partnership was a possibility, but he said he did not have any details on it.

Greg Bartlett of Hualapai Valley Solar confirmed that the two companies had discussed the idea, but he said he didn't know if the idea of one connection for both companies would be feasible.

Because a large portion of the project will be built on BLM land, approximately 44,860 acres, an environmental impact study will have to be completed before the project can be built. Meetings were held in December to collect public statements on the project. A draft of the impact study should be available in the fall.

BLM is accepting comments on the project throughout the EIS process but is asking residents with concerns to get them in as early as possible so that they can act on the suggestions. For more information on the project, visit www.blm.gov/az/st/en.html or call Jerry Crockford at (505) 360-0473.

Comments can be e-mailed to KFO_WindEnergy@blm.gov or mailed to the BLM Kingman Field Office, Joyce Cook, Realty Specialist, 2755 Mission Blvd., Kingman AZ 86401.