Spanish Fork wind-farm project celebrated with kite event

Published: Saturday, Sept. 6 2008 1:25 a.m. MDT

Mel Rodgers of England watches a stunt kite fly through the air as he lies on the bank of Spanish Fork Reservoir during Sky Spectacular on Friday. The event continues today from 9 a.m. until dusk.

Jason Olson, Deseret News

Enlarge photo»

SPANISH FORK — If Spanish Fork Canyon can sustain the state's first utility-scale wind farm, it ought to be an ideal setting for kite-flying festivities to celebrate the project.

So to commemorate the completion of the Spanish Fork Canyon Wind Farm, the city is hosting Sky Spectacular — two days of festivities that started Friday featuring professional kite-flying exhibitions, kite-making workshops and presentations on environmental practices.

At 11 a.m. today, the city will present "Welcome the Wind," a ceremony signifying the completion of the newly built wind turbines. The celebration will include an aircraft fly-over, balloon release and Mayor Joe Thomas' declaration of Sept. 6 as "Wind Power Day."

Spanish Fork assistant city manager Seth Perrins said he hopes the 19-megawatt, nine-turbine wind farm, which is expected to produce about 2.1 megawatts per unit, will set an example for other cities to explore clean energy options.

"This is a time where certainly energy is a topic of much discussion," he said. "If there are things that can be done to create clean energy, hopefully we as communities will look to develop those."

Sky Spectacular brings in professional kite fliers from other parts of Utah, Florida and California who will put on shows with some kites as large as 100 feet in length, Perrins said.

Vendors are also present to exhibit hybrid cars, segways and other alternatives to conventional modes of transportation.

The Spanish Fork Canyon Wind Farm project was completed earlier this year. The turbines stand about 280 feet tall and their rotating blades measure 136 feet long, putting the tip of the blade at its highest point 416 feet off the ground. The farm is expected to produce energy about 80 percent of the time. The 19 megawatts are enough to power about 6,000 typical homes.

Spanish Fork event manager Elaine Hansen said the wind farm has already become a city landmark.

"They're an icon of hope and an icon of thinking differently about the future," Hansen said.

Festivities will run today from 9 a.m. till dusk. The events will take place near the wind farm, which is located a few miles up Spanish Fork Canyon along U.S. Highway 6.

IF YOU GO:

What: Sky Spectacular

When: Saturday, 9 a.m. to dusk

Where: Spanish Fork Canyon Wind Farm

How to get there: Drive east on U.S. 6 and turn right on Powerhouse Road, then take a left on Spanish Oaks Drive


E-mail: jdana@desnews.com

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