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New wind farm serving Utah coming to Idaho Falls area

Idaho Falls and several Utah towns will soon get power generated from a new wind farm.

Construction of 32 turbines at Horse Butte, a project of the Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems, 15 miles east of Idaho Falls, started in November. The project should be producing power by early 2012, said Jackie Coombs , UAMPS manager of customer service.

The power will flow to 21 Utah towns, Idaho Falls, Fallon, Nev., and utilities in Wyoming and California.

The 32 turbines will produce 57.6 megawatts of electricity at a cost of approximately $143 million. At build-out, the Horse Butte site is planned to have 55 turbines and produce 99 megawatts.

Jay Patrick

US Geothermal finally fixes “cold” water leak

Boise-based US Geothermal is expanding in Oregon and Nevada, but wells at its Idaho plant southeast of Boise have been plagued by broken well lines that for two years have allowed colder water (170 degrees) to mix in with the hot stuff (299 degrees).

“The hotter the fluid, the more power we generate,” said CEO Doug Glasbey.

On July 2, crews successfully sealed off the leaks that were lowering temperatures to 240 degrees.

“It’s creeping back up to full production temperature,” Glasbey said.

The costs of the repairs were not disclosed. Without the colder water in the system, the plant can produce an additional megawatt of power.

On July 11, US Geothermal stock was trading at 74 cents per share.

By Jay Patrick

Oklahoma foundation awards grant to Idaho students

Butterfield Memorial Foundation has awarded 13 grants worth $600,000 to provide scholarships to nursing students.

Scholarship awards of $50,000 each were awarded to Biola University, Los Angeles; California Baptist University, Riverside, Calif.; East Texas Baptist University, Marshall, Texas; Northwest Nazarene University, Nampa, Idaho; Spring Arbor University, Spring Arbor, Mich.; Trevecca Nazarene University, Nashville, Tenn.; Union University, Jackson, Tenn.; and University of Mary-Hardin Baylor, Belton, Texas.

In Oklahoma, awards of $50,000 each were presented to Oklahoma Baptist University, Oklahoma Christian University and Oral Roberts University. Baptist Village Communities received $10,000.

An award of $40,000 was presented to Palm Beach Atlantic University, Palm Beach, Fla.

The Oklahoma City-based Butterfield Memorial Foundation supports Christian non-profit health organizations that help vulnerable populations.

Dolan Media Newswires

Problems abound with Jerome wastewater plant heavily used by dairy industry

The city of Jerome is trying to find a solution to overflow problems at its wastewater treatment plant heavily used by the dairy industry that could bring fines of up to $37,500 a day from the Environmental Protection Agency.

The Times-News reports the plant’s filters clogged in December. Then, partially treated water entered a discharge canal in February.

Idaho Milk Products, Jerome Cheese and Darigold put a combined 1.68 million gallons of wastewater a day through the plant.

The wastewater goes through a membrane filtration system that became clogged earlier this year by a foreign substance.

City Administrator Ben Marchant says officials have to come up with a solution quickly to show the EPA the city is doing something about the problem. Initial estimates put the work at $3.25 million.

The Associated Press

Improperly installed bolts found in new N. Idaho bridge

The Idaho Transportation Department says scores of anchor bolts on a $22 million bridge being built on U.S. Highway 2 in northern Idaho have been improperly installed and need to be fixed.

Department spokeswoman Barbara Babic tells the Bonner County Daily Bee that between 75 and 100 faulty bolts were detected during a routine construction inspection last spring.

The agency made the announcement July 8.

Officials say the Federal Highway Administration and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Office of Inspector General is investigating because the new bridge is being paid for with money from the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act.

The project’s lead contractor, Sletten Construction Co., installed the bolts. The company could face penalties if inspectors find malfeasance.

Officials say a corrective plan has been started and won’t delay construction.

The Associated Press

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