West Virginia boundary commission members Charles Sypolt and Curt Keplinger visited Tamarack Ridge Saturday morning to inspect the site of a proposed industrial wind farm. ...Governor Manchin formed the boundary commission in September after the Pocahontas County Commission alerted him that the wind project might encroach into West Virginia territory.
The county commission became concerned after the developer, Highland New Wind Development, LLC (HNWD), issued a site plan with the state line re-plotted on the base topographic map and two turbines very close to the re-plotted state line.
Several additional companies have inquired about the possibility of building windmills in Tazewell County, officials confirmed Monday.
Although Dominion and BP Wind Energy North America are planning a large-scale wind turbine farm for East River Mountain near Bluefield, other areas of interest for other wind energy companies have included Morris Knob, near Tazewell, and Burkes Garden, according to Board of Supervisors Chairman David Anderson.
Late last Friday, before a hearing scheduled for Tuesday this week, Highland New Wind Development submitted further analysis of its wind project to the Virginia Department of Historic Resources.
The hearing was set by the State Corporation Commission following a complaint from DHR that a condition attached to HNWD's state permit for Virginia's first wind utility were not being met. DHR said it believed the SCC's condition to "coordinate with DHR for guidance regarding the potential need for archaeological and architectural surveys, recommended studies and field
surveys to evaluate the project's impacts to historic resources," had meaning, and that HNWD was not coordinating with the agency as ordered.
The Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC) has rescheduled a hearing to determine whether a wind energy company has complied with pre-construction conditions regarding protection of historic resources. The hearing, originally scheduled for October 12, will be held on November 11 at 10 a.m. The hearing will be available as a webcast from the SCC website.
The Virginia Attorney General's Office, representing DHR, filed a motion on October 9 to reschedule the hearing, which was granted by hearing examiner Alexander Skirpan.
The SCC had scheduled the hearing on a complaint from the Virginia Department of Historic Resources, which had accused Highland New Wind Development of failing to consult with it on how the wind farm will affect the nearby Camp Allegheny battlefield.
But on Friday, Highland New Wind provided two preliminary studies to the Department of Historic Resources, according to a motion filed with the SCC late in the day.
Albemarle County Planning Commission members sent a clear message Tuesday: The county should allow wind turbines.
Turbines are prohibited in Albemarle, but the Planning Commission unanimously approved a resolution calling for the county to allow small power-generating wind turbines. However, some specifics about where turbines should be allowed and what restrictions should be established were left up in the air.
A long-awaited wind energy economic impact study for Tazewell County could be ready as early as next week. ...Following a five-minute recess in Tuesday's meeting, [County Administrator Jim] Spencer told media representatives that he was told by Springsted officials on the telephone that the wind energy study wouldn't be finished until mid-October.
York officials have taken the first steps toward crafting wind turbine regulations.
At a Wednesday night Planning Commission work session, the five commissioners in attendance were unanimous in their support for regulations that would permit the use of wind turbines for generating electricity.
During the lengthy discussion, commissioners differed on how regulations should be applied.
The company planning an industrial wind facility on Tamarack Ridge didn't want to talk about visual impact on Camp Allegheny when it seeks approval to build the 19 gigantic turbines.
But a Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC) hearing examiner ordered on September 23 that visual impact will be considered when the SCC hears arguments over the company's compliance with permit conditions.
The Planning Commission will consider during a work session next week whether York County should create a zoning ordinance allowing wind turbines in neighborhoods. ...Planning staff suggest proceeding slowly. "The lack of any first-hand, real-world experience with wind turbines anywhere in the region probably calls for a cautious approach," one document cautions.
State regulators will consider the impact that a planned Highland County wind farm will have on a nearby Civil War battlefield, despite objections from the project's developer.
A State Corporation Commission hearing examiner ruled Wednesday that a state agency could present evidence of the visual impacts the 400-foot-tall towers would have on Camp Allegheny, a historic battlefield just across the state line in West Virginia. A hearing has been set for Oct. 13.
While Virginia's State Corporation Commission starts hearing legal arguments this week about the actions of Highland New Wind Development, officials and citizens are telling Richmond officials that Camp Allegheny, the nearby battlefield, needs to be protected from the 19-tower project. ...Allegheny is part of an historic and scenic landscape that belongs to the American people Highland New Wind Development may be located in Virginia and Camp Allegheny in West Virginia, but it is the citizens of the entire country who stand to lose if the 400-foot tall, 285 foot wide turbines are allowed to be built where they are currently sited.
Highland New Wind Development filed a motion Friday, Sept. 18 to exclude any discussion of Camp Allegheny Battlefield from a state hearing originally set for Wednesday.
Attorneys for HNWD, the Virginia Department of Historic Resources, and the State Corporation Commission argued for an hour before SCC hearing examiner Alexander Skirpan in Richmond. Skirpan denied HNWD's motion, and rescheduled the original hearing on DHR's allegations against the developer for Tuesday, Oct. 13.
The governor made his first formal step in developing offshore wind resources, saying in a news release today that he has requested the formation of a federal-state-local task force.
Gov. Timothy M. Kaine sent a letter this month to the U.S. Department of the Interior requesting the formation of the task force to guide and facilitate the leasing process of federal waters off the Virginia coast to develop wind power.
A state agency has joined the fight against a wind farm in Highland County that could affect a Civil War battlefield. Developers say it's a nonissue, but longtime opponents of the wind farm say they want to preserve the area's beauty.
If speed tests this year show that the wind is powerful enough, the school could buy a wind turbine to make electricity, said Bonnie Holliday, development director. "We sit in a very windy spot, so we might be able to have some great energy produced by the turbine and reduce our costs," she said.
A number of homeowners in the region are feeling the same winds and thinking much the same thing.
Wind energy got the welcome mat and elk the boot Thursday before the Wise County Board of Supervisors.
The board approved without discussion a zoning change to allow development of a wind energy project now under consideration by Virginia Dominion Power and BP Wind Energy. The two companies have been assessing the viability of erecting 50 to 60 wind turbines in the county along the Kentucky border along an area stretching north of Big Stone Gap to northwest of Pound.
The developers of a proposed large-scale wind turbine farm for Tazewell County have been quietly making progress high atop East River Mountain.
A meteorological tower to study wind speed and direction has been erected on the mountain. A number of geo-technical studies, along with wildlife and avian studies, also are continuing at the Tazewell County site, Ryan Frazier, a senior communications specialist with Dominion Energy, said.
Highland New Wind Development (HNWD), the self-touted "Greenest Wind Farm in the World," has initiated clearing, road work, and excavation for its 19-turbine project in the remote Allegheny Mountain, Laurel Fork area along the Highland County-Pocahontas County, Virginia-West Virginia border. ...The SCC has scheduled a hearing to be convened on September 23, 2009 to receive evidence and testimony from the Virginia Department of Historic Resources (DHR) and HNWD concerning the wind energy developer's compliance with the SCC's December 2007 order
As Highland New Wind Development pushes to get roads installed and fields leveled for foundations, efforts to build its 38-megawatt wind-generating utility here aren't proceeding smoothly.
Obstacles abound, in the form of legal challenges, allegations of not meeting state requirements, and an Erosion and Sediment control plan state officials have found lacking.
All of that is coupled with an ongoing assertion from West Virginia officials who say Virginia, and Highland County, had no right to approve a facility
that crosses state lines.