NV Energy pulls out of Idaho wind project over sage grouse concerns

Source: E&E • Posted: Thursday, April 26, 2012

NV Energy Inc. has pulled out of a major Idaho wind energy project after environmental studies showed it could have “more than minor adverse effects” on the population of imperiled sage grouse.

NV Energy was working with Renewable Energy Systems America Inc. to build the massive China Mountain Wind Project on 25,000 acres of Bureau of Land Management property, as well as state and private property. NV Energy had already invested $6 million in the project.

BLM notified the developers in March that it had delayed its work on an environmental impact statement for the project after determining that the site encompassed 42 percent of the western United States’ sage grouse population (E&ENews PM, March 9).

“We believe it wiser to defer continued work on the project so that it can be considered in the context of, and informed by, the analyses and decisions in the Idaho Resource Management Plan resources,” BLM said.

A draft EIS released in April 2011 said the project “could have more than minor adverse effects on the sage grouse due to the importance of the involved habitat.”

NV Energy has notified the state Public Utility Commission that it intends to terminate its portion of the project that would supply power to 100,000 homes (Cy Ryan, Las Vegas Sun, April 25). — AS