The answer may not be blowing in the wind. Tuesday night Almont Village Council trustees joined a growing number of local officials eyeing regulations for wind turbines.
The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) reported last month that the U.S. wind industry built nearly 10,000 megawatts (MW) of new generating capacity last year, enough to supply electricity to 2.4 million homes. The association predicts a 30-fold growth in wind turbine installations over the next five years.
But Ernie Corrigan, a spokesman for the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound, said the renewable energy industry can survive without windmills on Cape Cod. "They act as if this is somehow going to halt the entire alternative energy movement in the United States," Corrigan said. "That movement is going on, with or without Cape Wind."
Backers of a proposal to build 130 windmills across 25 miles of federal waters in Nantucket Sound will get what may be their best, last chance to make their case to federal regulators at a series of four public hearings this week.
The same goes for critics of the project.
The hearings by the federal Minerals Management Service on their draft environmental impact report could be one of the fiercest showdowns to date on the contentious plan by CapeWind Associates.
The project, which has been working its way through the state and federal regulatory process since November 2001, has also split the state's top political leaders.
High atop some of the tallest mountains in Maine, a wind farm proposal has set the stage for a clash of environmental values that could define the future of wind power in Maine.
... decisions about specific wind farms was up to the Adirondack Park Agency.
The Barton Group announced in January 2005 a $30 million plan to build 10 turbines along a ridge line on Gore and Pete Gay mountains, but has not yet formally applied to the APA for approval. The company has erected two monitoring masts to collect data on the wind blowing across the mountains.
In the first of a two day series, NHPR Correspondent Hilary McQuilkin is going to take us to the state's first commercial windfarm....in Berlin.
But in the second of our two-part series looking at wind power in the Granite State, we shift to the southwestern part of the state, to Lempster.
There a large 24 megawatt wind farm has been proposed for Lempster Mountain.
But, unlike in Berlin, this proposal has sparked a great deal of controversy.
A tall order
September 28, 2006
by Andrea Frampton
in Peoria Journal Star
A “little city” employing more than 150 people has sprung up over the last few months just outside Ellsworth as turbine towers for a $630 million wind farm begin dotting the landscape.
At the 15-acre construction site for the Twin Groves Wind Farm, just a mile north of Ellsworth, concrete workers stay busy loading up trucks at the on-site cement plant.
Large spools of black underground cable line up behind rows of white office trailers, ready for use. More than 53 miles of underground cable will be used in the first phase of the project, according to Horizon Wind Energy project development manager Bill Whitlock.
The idea of wind turbines rising up to 500 feet above the Atlantic within sight of New Jersey's beaches is already drawing opposition from some environmentalists and tourism advocates.
"It's troubling they are planning to put a huge number of turbines out in the ocean in the absence of environmental assessments of what the impact will be," said Tim Dillingham, executive director of the American Littoral Society, one of the oldest marine preservation groups in the state. "There also are some very hard questions about whether they are economical and what is the impact on ratepayers."
Economics have proved to be the biggest hurdle to developing offshore wind farms. ...Even on land, wind farms can't generate electricity as cheaply as most conventional power sources. ...Public Service Enterprise Group, a Newark-based energy company that owns the state's largest utility, submitted one of the five proposals to build a wind farm off Atlantic County. The estimated project cost: $1 billion, nearly twice what it costs to build a conventional power plant that can generate even more electricity.
The true pace at which wind farms are spreading across Scotland's countryside has been disclosed after official figures indicated the number of turbines increased by a third in the last year alone. ...Struan Stevenson, a Scottish Tory MEP, said the DECC figures were "perfectly symbolic of how pathetically useless and inefficient the whole technology of wind is."
A Minnesota-based company will likely apply for permits soon to establish a sizable wind farm on property stretching across Stephenson, Ogle, and Winnebago counties southeast of German Valley.
The company proposing this "tri-county" wind farm is Navitas Energy, based out of Minneapolis, Minn.
The concept of going green took on a whole new meaning in 2009 for the region. With the Obama administration pushing new clean energy sources, the scenic beauty of East River Mountain was suddenly threatened, and the greater Bluefield region was divided by a towering controversy.
The Jordanville Wind Project’s 68 proposed wind turbines, which would stand nearly 400 feet tall, could have a visual impact on southern Herkimer County and as far away as Cooperstown.
A debate is emerging among residents about how the sight of the turbines would affect the beauty of the landscape, land values and tourism. Some think the impact will be small or nonexistent, while others believe there could be many downsides.
People visit the Cooperstown area not just for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, other museums and tourist attractions, but also for the scenic views, said Harry Levine of a citizens’ group called Advocates for Springfield.
“I think we have to be very careful how we treat this background landscape because it could have a long-term effect on tourism,” Levine said.
He doesn't want to stop the wind project, but he'd like the county to take more time to make a decision that could do more harm than good.
Scott Riddlemoser lives about a mile from at least one of the wind turbines proposed as part of a nine-tower project in Lyon County, about seven miles south of Minnesota Highway 23, near Lyon County Road 2 by Russell.
"I hate to see the county be reactive and that we don't look at everything that impacts people like me," said Riddlemoser, who owns about 10 acres with his house in the county.
Lyon County's planning and zoning commission will meet at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the county boardroom at the courthouse to discuss the conditional use permit applications for the four proposed projects.
The county's existing wind energy project regulations do not very well address his specific concerns of setbacks, noise, wind wake and easements and visual impact, Riddlemoser said.
County zoning administrator John Biren said the county ordinance does address setbacks, noise, wind wakes and other issues.
Still, input from residents such as Riddlemoser will be considered by the planning and zoning board and the county, Biren said.
The peace deal, allowing £7.6 billion to be put on bills over the next eight years, follows a bitter split between Chancellor George Osborne and Ed Davey, the Energy Secretary, that threatened to tear the Coalition apart over the its green agenda.
At the heart of the fight, the Prime Minister and the Chancellor have been increasingly worried about the rising cost of energy to consumers.
A turn for the better
Wind turbines are ugly and no one wants to live near one. Right? Wrong. Steve Rose on the new architects of spin
In a remote desert spot in northern Nevada, there is a geothermal plant run by a politically connected clean energy start-up that has relied heavily on an Obama administration loan guarantee and is now facing financial turmoil.
The company is Nevada Geothermal Power, which like Solyndra, the now-famous California solar company, is struggling with debt after encountering problems at its only operating plant.
Nobody wants the application to go through, other than the German energy firm. So, the whole village, with the exception of the one farmer on whose land the turbines were to be built, voted at the council meeting at which the turbines were discussed; 100 per cent voted against. Yet the uncertainty remains.
Museum officials are asking Boston and Cambridge officials for permission to erect nine wind turbines on the museum roof, a project they say will help educate the public and government agencies about the pros and cons of wind energy. ..."We want to introduce the public to the thinking of wind turbines," Rabkin said. "But we also want to know what are the practical problems we face in the Boston area with the use of them. . . . Cities are trying to develop zoning laws, and there is no good data."
The galvanizing force behind several community development projects stemmed from the process of creating the first comprehensive plan in 40 years, county commissioners said.
The commissioners adopted a comprehensive plan Monday immediately after a final public hearing that drew little public comment..... Some of the early accomplishments generated by the plan include Somerset County wind farm regulations, the Hotel Tax Tourism Grant Program, the Somerset County Leadership Program, an education workforce initiative, the Somerset County Job Fair, the Somerset Lake Park Feasibility Study, the Quemahoning Water Supply Project and the Laurel Highlands Business Park, said Commissioner James Marker.