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Coconino Adopts Energy Policy

By Cecile LeBlanc for the Arizona Daily Sun

During a special session July 10, the Coconino County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to adopt the Energy Element to the Coconino County Comprehensive Plan.

Linda Webb, a member of Canyon Country Coalition, hoped that less lighting on wind turbines would be addressed before any more projects are approved.

Duane Weston, an attorney for NextEra Energy Resources, expressed concern that utility-scale wind and solar projects had been singled out for stricter scrutiny while most of energy goal sections were “warm and fuzzy.”

One component of the energy element is the formation of the Energy Advisory Committee. The EAC will comment on and provide technical support for energy projects. The energy policy will be revisited next year as part of the 2013 review of the County Comprehensive Plan.

 

Energy Element Goals

  • Goal: Increase the use of technologies and strategies to reduce pollution, environmental degradation, and negative health impacts associated with energy sources.
  • Goal: Reduce energy consumption by increasing energy conservation and efficiency.
  • Goal: Utilize wind and solar resources by encouraging distributed energy systems (Distributed energy systems have also been called on-site energy systems and are typically roof-top solar systems or backyard wind turbines).
  • Goal: Develop efficient and appropriate wind and solar energy generation while avoiding and minimizing impacts to the natural environment, wildlife and community character.
  • Goal: Support the development of clean biomass energy.
  • Goal: Diversify Coconino County’s energy portfolio through the responsible expansion of additional renewable energy sources.

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