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Magnum Development will propose changes at a Millard County Planning and Zoning Commission meeting on Jan. 31 that would allow solar and wind energy systems. A public hearing is scheduled to receive public comment on the zone change to heavy industrial at 6:30 p.m.

Magnum has developed commercial-scale underground bulk cavern storage 10 miles north of Delta, part of the Western Energy Hub plan. These solution-mined caverns are capable of storing natural gas, compressed air, and liquid energy products underground.

This unique storage technology has the potential of efficiently integrating the generation and transmission of renewable power to and from the Western United States. With access to both the interstate rail and highway systems — and with direct access to natural gas pipeline systems — this central hub component is also located by a high voltage transmission grid offering exclusive energy options. This makes the Western Energy Hub “a strategic asset” for both the State of Utah and the Western United States, according to the westernenergyhub. com web site.

Magnum’s application for a conditional use permit proposes allowances for construction, operation and maintenance of necessary auxiliary facilities; allowance of solar energy systems and wind systems within heavy industrial zoned property; the inclusion of hydrocarbons for natural or manufactured gas storage and includes renewable energy as a fuel that may power an electrical generating facility.

“Everything is positioned well,” County Planner Adam Richins said. “It’s just a matter of time before the Western Energy Hub really takes off.”

Transmission lines like the proposed Zephyr and TransWest Express are evaluating studies to determine environmental, land use, and conservation impacts in order to determine routes that would join at the Magnum site. There, possible future interconnection with the IPP transmission system near Delta will allow green energy power to travel to California.

The Magnum Compressed Air Energy Storage project is a bulk energy storage facility where energy would be stored through a compressed-air system. When energy demand is low, excess electricity would be used to compress and inject high-pressure air into the caverns. At high-energy demand, high-pressure air would be combined with a small amount of natural gas to power electricity- producing generators, according to the Magnum Development web site.

According to a presentation from Magnum, the proposed changes fall in line with Millard County goals with minimal impact to county infrastructure and environment. Additional full-time, living wage jobs with benefits available to local candidates are proposed as part of an economic boost resulting from industry and from construction, as well as revenue from local hotel, restaurant, retail and fuel sales.

Long-term tax revenues increase during operations with growth in job base, property and income taxes. SITLA royalties provide direct benefit to Millard County school children, according to Magnum.

Lastly, the consolidation of industrial zoned lands and the salt domes, buried 3,000 feet below the natural ground surface, would maintain the rural setting and character of the community, according to the presentation by Tiffany James of Magnum Development.

The significant assets that the Western Energy Hub offers, according to Magnum, are the potential for business development and attraction for follow- on development and construction.