Energy Doesn’t Happen Without Development
Clean energy doesn’t happen without development, and we’re thrilled the Lava Ridge Wind Project has reached a new milestone with the release of the draft Environmental Impact Statement.
Over the past two years, the Bureau of Land Management, cooperating agencies, and subcommittees have listened to public comments, studied environmental impacts, and provided the public with two preferred alternatives to make the Lava Ridge Wind Project a win for Idaho.
The draft EIS clearly outlines the benefits of the project. The draft EIS also addresses some of the misinformation cited by some parties and provides ample data to show the preferred alternatives will reduce potential impacts to the grazing allotments, wildlife, and places of cultural importance.
By creating domestic, homegrown energy, America can take charge of our power supply and provide Idaho with substantial economic benefits, particularly for Magic Valley counties and local schools.
Draft Environmental Impact Statement Executive Summary
The proposed Lava Ridge project would consist of up to 400 wind turbines and associated infrastructure, including new and improved roads, powerlines for collection and transmission of electricity, substations, operation and maintenance facilities, and a battery storage facility. The project’s 500-kilovolt transmission line would interconnect at Idaho Power Company’s existing Midpoint Substation or at a new substation within the right-of-way corridor of the northern portion of the Southwest Intertie Project.
The BLM identified Alternatives C and E as the agency’s preferred alternatives. In selecting preferred alternatives, the BLM aims to focus on stakeholder review of the draft EIS while retaining the ability to consider project elements that balance energy production with reducing the potential for adverse impacts.
Magic Valley Energy is committed to being a good neighbor and listening to the concerns and needs of the communities. We believe Alternative C is good examples of how the public process led by the BLM can lead to compromise that all sides can appreciate.
The EIS process is designed to ensure everyone is heard to allow for the best possible outcome for all stakeholders. During the public comment period, MVE will continue to work with the local landowners, ranchers, and cooperating agencies and communities to create a project that fills the vast need for energy while protecting and enhancing the history, ranching legacies, environment, and important locations in the Magic Valley.
Alternative C would reduce the project’s overall extent by eliminating development within specific corridors. This alternative intends to avoid and minimize potential impacts to Wilson Butte Cave, Minidoka NHS, and the communities that have connections to these places. Alternative C would also aim to encourage development in areas already impacted by energy infrastructure. Under Alternative C, the southwest and northeast siting corridors (proposed within the Proposed Action) would not be considered for wind turbine siting, but some of these corridors would be changed to still allow access or powerline development. Alternative C would also limit the project’s 500-kV transmission line to a single route that would follow the alignment of existing transmission lines.
Alternative C would not include siting corridors nearest to and in the most prominent viewing directions of Wilson Butte Cave and Minidoka NHS to minimize and avoid impacts to the setting and feeling of these places while maintaining connectivity of turbine corridors to the main substation and maintaining electricity generation.
Alternative C would not include siting corridors north of Idaho Highway 24 (ID 24) to minimize the extent of wildlife habitat fragmentation and reduce considerable development in areas that are relatively undeveloped and have a low potential to be successfully reclaimed. Alternative C would not include siting corridors northwest of the existing Idaho Power 345-kV Kinport to Midpoint transmission line to provide a path with fewer obstructions to the western end of the project for pronghorn migration.