Lee also warned that renewable energy sources, though desirable, were not a "silver bullet" solution. "It does leave an environmental footprint," Lee said, noting that wind energy and solar energy take up large areas of land, making it difficult to find a place to put them, especially in densely populated parts of the world.
Appalachian states have the potential to compete in the global energy market and should seek alternative sources of energy beyond conventional coal production, regional leaders said Thursday.
Kentucky Gov. Ernie Fletcher and other members of the federal Appalachian Regional Commission released a report detailing how the area could increase energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy resources, including biomass, and develop conventional energy resources, such as clean coal.
“Energy is quickly becoming one of the biggest issues facing the country today,” said Fletcher, who is also the state’s co-chair of the ARC. “It is important for Kentucky and the other ARC states to develop a solid plan of action in order to capitalize on our natural resources and provide high-quality job opportunities for our citizens.”
A new state ocean management plan will likely leave control over the size of renewable energy projects in state waters in the hands of regional planning authorities such as the Cape Cod Commission and Martha's Vineyard Commission.
In a letter sent yesterday ...Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs Ian Bowles agreed to change the draft plan released in July.
Town Administrator Jonathan Butler told the Selectmen Wednesday night that the two "district local technical assistance grants" are not monetary awards, but consist of advising services from the planning commission. A joint project with Savoy is designed to help the towns gain further understanding of purchase agreements regarding commercial renewable-energy projects.
Wind energy opponents would like to see strict regulations while land owners hoping to earn up to $6,000 annually for housing a turbine say they prefer more liberal ordinances.
As a result, Logan-Union-Champaign Regional Planning Commission has taken steps to bring the two sides together to discuss zoning issues and reach a consensus, said Jenny Snapp, commission's executive director.
In addition, Champaign and Logan counties recently adopted ordinances - and are working on others - that will regulate where turbines can be placed. The ordinances are the first of their kind in Ohio.
Whirling debate over a proposed offshore wind farm helped to chop up hopes Monday for broad agreement on Delaware's version of a multistate greenhouse gas control plan.
Although rarely mentioned directly, the push for wind turbines off Delaware's coast plainly figured in disputes over how to invest an estimated $53 million to $209 million in proceeds by 2014 from the sale of power plant "allowances" for carbon dioxide emissions.
Delaware agreed in 2005 to join the 10-state Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a program to cap and then reduce the amount of heat-trapping pollution released by large electricity generators across the Northeast.
Maine's largest energy provider is forecasting record-breaking electricity use this summer, as well as a need for additional supply lines to feed an ever-increasing demand.
But a solution planned by ISO New England -- which manages electricity distribution in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont -- is being met with skepticism by Maine officials, who question the proposal's need and fairness.
The latest wind project, in fact, is located in Wasco, Ore., on a field owned by PPM Energy. Called Klondike Wind Power III, the project adds a full 25 percent to BPA's existing renewable wind supply, taking the agency's capacity from 207 megawatts to 257 megawatts.
That remains a small fraction of BPA's total energy output, but a 20-year regional plan calls for adding 5,000 or more megawatts of wind in coming years. That, analysts say, would make wind a major player in meeting future electricity demand throughout the Pacific Northwest. ...The wind, however, cannot be counted upon to blow steady year-round, Wright said, and so is called an "intermittent resource." As such, it must be "firmed up" by a more constant power source, such as the region's 31 hydropower plants.
The winds of change swept through Woodford County in 2006 as alternative energy companies Navitas and Invenergy both submitted plans for wind farms.
The $260 million Benson Wind Farm by Navitas Energy stands to create the most impact in Woodford County with 79 turbines in Greene, Clayton and Panola townships. Minnesota-based Navitas plans three other wind farm projects adjacent to the Benson Wind Farm.
A 50-turbine project will expand the farm to the north, while a 40-turbine farm is planned for the west side of Interstate 39 near El Paso. A 100-turbine farm is planned for east of I-39 near Minonk. That wind farm, which would be shared by Woodford and Livingston counties, probably will not begin until at least 2009.
Meanwhile, a second company is planning a project in western Woodford County near Carlock. Chicago-based Invenergy Wind is planning a $200 million, 100-turbine project known as White Oak Wind Energy Center in McLean and Woodford counties.
The financial impact of the wind farms is difficult to quantify because of potential variations in assessing the turbines. However, officials for Navitas estimated the company could pay between $650,000 $750,000 annually in property taxes for the Benson Wind Farm alone.
The provincial government plans to release more information regarding its proposed changes to wind farms under the Green Energy Act, a plan which has municipal officials wor ried about future development in Elgin county.
Ontario's Ministry of the Environment received about 1,000 comments during a 45-day consultation period asking whether wind turbines should be set back a minimum of 550 metres from buildings, with different setbacks for roadways and property lines.
Rep. Alan B. Mollohan, D-W.Va., told a House committee Tuesday about the dangers wind turbines in West Virginia and elsewhere pose to birds and bats.
"In the past, West Virginia's natural resources were exploited without regard to the long-term environmental consequences, and I think it's imperative that this not be allowed to happen again," Mollohan told the House Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife and Oceans during Tuesday's hearing, the first congressional hearing on the impact of huge wind turbines on wildlife.
Mollohan also spoke about the size of the wind projects on West Virginia's mountain ridges.
The high winds that are part of life in southeast Wyoming make it a prime target for the development of systems to turn the gusts into a usable source of electricity.
To prepare for the expected influx of towers and turbines that may dot the landscape, Laramie County is creating rules to monitor the future installation, operation and potential abandonment of wind energy systems.
County officials say the proposed regulations are designed to ensure the orderly development of the systems. They also seek to protect public infrastructure and the quality of life for residents while encouraging the growth of this alternative energy source for personal and commercial uses.
"We do want to make sure they're safe (wind energy systems), and we do want to make sure you don't cause trouble for your neighbors. But that's it," county planning director Gary Kranse said.
Committee member Ron VonHolten suggested several changes, including eliminating a section that would have allowed shadow flicker problems to be addressed with plantings or awnings. He also said complaints should include shutting down the turbine from 10 p.m. until 7 a.m. until the problem is fixed.
"If it's noise issues, you can't say, ‘Well, in 60 days, I get to sleep,'" he said.
The irritation Whitley County residents voiced over the late disclosure of the interest the plan commission president had in a potential wind farm is justified. But it should not deter county officials from adopting a needed ordinance regulating wind-energy projects throughout the county.
Wind farms, like much new technology, have generated both strong community support and vocal opposition. Victoria has recently amended its planning laws and regulations to restrict locations for wind farms.
Crowding into the old Noxen Schoolhouse Tuesday evening, residents' view was crystal clear of South Mountain, the site BP Alternative Energy is considering for a wind farm.
How the township should and could regulate such a project is far from clear.
"This isn't settled law," Noxen solicitor Ron Kamage said. "There's no decision that I can point to and say, ‘We can regulate ( wind turbines) this way.' "
Should BP move forward with a wind farm in the Wyoming County township, Noxen supervisors could find themselves in situation similar to other local governments in Pennsylvania - creating new law.
Local governments in western Virginia are beginning to craft land-use regulations to give them tighter control over where wind turbines could be built, even as energy companies study the area's potential for large wind farms.
Mountainous Bland and Bath counties are looking to develop ordinances governing wind turbines. Giles County, meanwhile, recently created a permit process that allows farmers and landowners to build and operate single turbines; but the permit process does not open the door wider for commercial wind farms. The permit process is similar to ones adopted by Pulaski and Rockingham counties. ...The prospect of more money did not persuade Patrick County officials to embrace wind farms. Last year, amid hue and cry from landowners after a Pennsylvania company's proposal to build 20 giant turbines several hundred feet high in Patrick, county supervisors adopted an ordinance banning structures of more than 100 feet high. The company dropped its proposal.
Township residents and council have wrangled for about 18 months over the project.
Last week, council recommended a minimum 450-metre setback from homes and a minimum 600-metre setback from the edge of any hamlet.
“I kind of think it’s the middle of the road” between what advocates and critics have recommended, Reeve Ben Van Diepenbeek said this week.
Some critics had wanted at least a one-kilometre setback and insisted that noise issues made the turbines potentially a health hazard if located any closer.
Kingston was approved for Ontario's first offshore wind power project last week, yet no regulations exist governing where turbines can be installed or how far they must be from shorelines.
"The government is now working on establishing those standards. It's a very new field," said Ben Chin of the Ontario Power Authority, which granted the 300-megawatt project to Windstream Wolfe Island Shoals Inc. last week.
Ontario's noise regulations for wind turbines are among the weakest in the world and current distance setbacks from homes should be tripled or more, a public meeting was told Monday.
About 200 people crowded the Essex Civic Centre to hear experts from across the province debate the health effects of wind turbines. Using teleconferencing, some spoke from as far away as the United Kingdom.