General and Zoning/Planning
The VA SCC issued its final order that conditionally approves the Highland New Wind Development, LLC application to construct and operate a wind energy generating facility in Highland County, Virginia, near the West Virginia border. The proposed facility would consist of up to twenty (20) wind turbines of up to 2.00 MW capacity each. The order included comprehensive monitoring and mitigation for wildlife impacts (bird and bat) and could serve as a model for other projects. One of the commissioners dissented on a provision in the monitoring and mitigation plan.
Mr. Sean Cox presented evidence at the Resource Management Act hearing for the Te Uku wind farm which directly countered the economic case for the wind farm, its carbon emissions justification, the available wind resource at Te Uku, adverse noise and health effects, and challenged the expertise of some of wind developer Wel's consultants. When completed, Wel counsel Simon Berry asked that the hearing be adjourned to permit the developer time to respond to Mr. Cox's submission. An excerpt of Mr. Cox's testimony is included below. The full transcript can be accessed by clicking on one of the two links provided.
This Docket concerns a proposal by UPC Vermont Wind, LLC ("UPC", "Petitioner", or
"Applicant") for a 16-turbine, 40 megawatt wind generation facility in Sheffield, Vermont (the
DOE released its first Annual Report on U.S. Wind Power Installation, Cost, and Performance Trends: 2006 on May 31st, providing an overview of developments and trends in the U.S. wind power market. The report analyzes trends in the marketplace, including wind power prices compared to wholesale electricity prices, project costs, turbine sizes, and developer consolidation. It also describes the increasing performance of wind projects, current ownership and financing structures, and trends among major wind power purchasers.
The report notes that U.S. wind power capacity increased by 27 percent in 2006 and that the United States had the fastest-growing wind power capacity in the world in 2005 and 2006. For the second straight year, the United States led the world by installing 2,454 megawatts of wind power capacity in 2006—16 percent of the capacity installed worldwide that year—followed by Germany, India, Spain, and China. Leading the way in annual growth capacity in the United States are Texas, Washington, and California.
Excerpts below are from the May 16, 2007 Proposed Order of WV PSC denying Liberty Gap's application for CPCN (siting permit) for 50 wind turbine project atop Jack Mtn in Pendleton County:
H.R. 2337 just introduced in the US House of Representatives by Congressman Rahall (D-WV), Chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee. Title II, Subtitle D (beginning with Sec. 231 on page 39) of the bill addresses the safe siting of wind energy facilities. This specific section can be found below.
In order for the Public Service Board to concur with UPC's conclusion that the UPC proposed wind turbine project will not unduly interfere with orderly growth in the region, the Board must ignore the overwhelming, consistent and corroborating evidence in this recored that the vast majority of the citizens of the Northeast Kingdom are opposed to large-scale, industrial-sized commercial wind development.
Some elements to consider in policy, planning, and public relations
The complete report available in sections.
The contents of this report are the results of a survey of state fish and wildlife
agencies as well as independent research. The results were made available for
review by the States to verify the results and contents. All efforts were made to
ensure the accuracy of the information and all information contained within is
believed to be accurate as of April 11, 2007.