City Council Discuss Wind Farm Art Installation
At the Casper City Council meeting on Tuesday, the council heard from Chris Navarro about an art installation he hopes to install somewhere in the city using wind turbine blades.
Navarro, who is a local artist who makes sculptures, said that he approached the company NextEra a year and a half ago to get the blades and funding for the project.
The installation itself would be what Navarro calls "Windhenge," which would repurpose wind turbine blades to make a facsimile of the famous Stone Henge in Casper, which he said would be the first of its kind and take up half an acre of land.
While Navarro stated that nowhere in the world have recycled blades been repurposed into art, Denmark unveiled in September 2021 that recycled blades are being used as bike shelters.
Wind turbine blades are typically buried in Casper, along with two other locations in Texas and Iowa, where they would sit forever.
Navarro said that he, after seeing the blades being buried, wanted to use the blades for something more useful, like windhenge, which would use 40 blades, along with several other ideas using various amounts of blades.
All members of the council were open to the idea, with councilmembers Bruce Knell, Kyle Gamroth, and Amber Pollock stating their interest in having a tourist attraction like windhenge in the community.
Knell said that he is curious what the cost to the city would be, as if it was built away from any established infrastructure, the city would need to build roads and parking lots nearby.
The reason Navarro approached the council was that he needed a place to build the structure, and after being turned down by Casper College, thought the city would be the next group to approach.
Carter Napier, the Casper city manager, said that it is possible for the city to use land near the Ford Wyoming Event Center for the structure, but until he does some more digging he can't say for sure if that would be a good location.
The blades that Navarro is getting from NextEra will not be ones that have already been buried but will be taken from wind turbines that are currently being dismantled.
Councilmember Lisa Engebretsen asked if they could place the installation near the trail center, but Napier said that he had asked them about it, and they would be against putting it near their center.
While the council didn't agree to the installation at the Tuesday meeting, Napier said he would look into what areas in town the installation could fit, how much revenue it could generate, and what the cost to the city would be.
Napier said that he hopes to have something for the council to look at some time this summer, but that it will most likely take until next year before the project could get off the ground.