The Bureau of Land Management is proposing to erect five weather towers to assess the viability of wind power on approximately 20,000 acres in Southern Inyo.
If the lands prove worthy of supporting a commercial wind power project, Colorado-based RES Americas Development, Incorporated would be the interested applicant.
The plan is to place three towers on a 4,500-acre parcel near Pearsonville, and five on a 14,209-acre parcel that would stretch from near Haiwee Reservoir to Coso Junction. The towers would be meteorological in nature, measuring wind speeds and frequencies. The towers will be eight-inches in diameter and 197 feet tall.
It is anticipated that this meteorological study would last until 2013, according to the application to the Inyo County Planning Commission. The experiment is planned to take no more than three years, or “for a sufficient amount of time” to determine if the area can support commercial wind-power generators.
If the area is deemed worthy of a wind project, RES will re-apply for a right-of-way grant and appropriate environmental reviews.
RES has a right-of-way grant from the BLM to do the initial study, but the project must also be granted a Conditional Use Permit by the local planning commissioners.
The commission will hold a public hearing as well as considering the item at its next meeting starting at 10 a.m., Wednesday, Dec. 1 at the Board of Supervisors Room in Independence.