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3rd phase of Milford wind project proposed

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FILLMORE — A pair of meetings hosted by the Bureau of Land Management are set for mid-month to solicit comments from the public on the planned expansion of the Milford Wind Corridor project.

Phase III proposes to build a wind energy facility 45 miles south of Delta that could include up to 300 wind turbine generators, in addition to an underground power collection system, a connector road system and an operation and maintenance facility.

FirstWind's Phase I, already completed, has 97 turbines generating 204 megawatts and Milford II, at its completion, will have 68 turbines to generate 102 megawatts.

John Lamontange, spokesman for the Boston-based company, said so far 22 turbines are up as part of Phase II, with another dozen or so towers installed.

"The second phase is moving along well," he said. "We hope to have it online," by late spring or early summer of this year.

The company has started the process of working with the BLM as the agency goes through an environmental analysis examining the potential impacts of the proposed expansion. That analysis will be done in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Interior's Environmental Impact Statement on wind energy development on public lands in the west.

Under the proposal, the wind turbines would be arranged in parallel rows oriented west-northwest to east-southeast, and approximately one mile apart. The towers, depending on which type is selected, would be up to 391 feet high and the wind turbine rotors would be up to 368 feet in diameter.

Electrical power from the proposed expansion would interconnect to the existing lead generator line that runs between the substation of the project's first phase and the Intermountain Power Plant substation via a new seven mile long overhead line.

The company has power purchase agreements in place with the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and Southern California Public Power Authority for the first and second phase. No agreements have been penned yet for the third phase, or possible later phases of the project, said Lamontagne.

The Milford Wind Corridor is Utah's largest wind energy project — and when the second phase is complete the corridor will generate a combined 306 megawatts, making it one of the largest wind energy projects in the West.

e-mail: amyjoi@desnews.com