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.
A U.S. congressman has added his voice to those who seek to protect Camp Allegheny, the Civil War battlefield now considered endangered by the industrial wind energy utility under construction nearby.
Congressman Nick J. Rahall II (D-3rd District) of Beckley represents 17 counties in West Virginia, including Pocahontas County, where the battleground lies.
It's full steam ahead for a wind farm project in Greenbrier County. The state supreme court voted today to reject an appeal by Mountain Communities for Responsible Energy.
Opponents of a 124-turbine wind farm proposed for southeastern West Virginia urged the state Supreme Court on Wednesday to consider anew whether regulators correctly approved the project.
Mountain Communities for Responsible Energy and a Greenbrier County couple are challenging the state Public Service Commission decision in February to permit Beech Ridge Energy LLC to start construction.
US WindForce will conduct the regular month meeting of its Community Advisory Panel Thursday night at the WindLea Banquet Center, with a state energy official to address the group on the eve of the West Virginia Public Service Commission's hearing on the proposed 23-turbine wind farm.
Bill Willis, a program coordinator with the West Virginia Division of Energy, will be the guest speaker for the meeting.
As a 19-tower wind turbine project nears the construction stage in Highland County, Va., just across the state line from Pocahontas County, it faces a whirlwind of objections from both sides of the border -- including a dispute about just where the border lies.
The project also has drawn fire from Civil War battlefield preservation groups for the negative effects the wind farm would have on West Virginia's Camp Allegheny.
Where is the state line? Pocahontas officials would like to know. The Pocahontas County Commission met Thursday and in an occasionally heated discussion, agreed Highland New Wind Development's planned wind energy utility in Highland County, Va., might be infringing on West Virginia property.
The commissioners decided to talk about it again Tuesday, when they will vote on whether to take legal action to settle the matter.
Big machines have been rolling up to Allegheny Mountain for days. Site development work on Virginia's first industrial wind energy plant is expected to start this week.
Passersby report heavy equipment has been parked near the entrance to Red Oak Knob, and blasting heard over the last couple of days. A skidder moved in after dark a few days ago, and trees are being cut near one of the turbine sites; one truck full of logs has already headed out with its load.
Giant wind turbines are coming close to Pocahontas County and many residents are curious if the windmills will be visible from their homes.
A helpful website with a strange name lets you find out with just a few clicks of the mouse.
Heywhatsthat.com works in conjunction with Google Maps and provides custom viewsheds from any point on the globe.
Concerned citizens of Pocahontas County and a resident of Virginia brought the issue of the Highland County wind turbine project intruding on the viewshed of Camp Allegheny in Bartow to the county commission's attention at Thursday's meeting.
Virginia resident Dan Foster said his main concern is for Camp Allegheny and preserving the history of the battlefield, where the turbines will be visible from almost every angle.
West Virginia might have something to say about Mac McBride's plans for a wind energy utility in Highland County after all.
Thursday, Highland resident Dan Foster was invited to speak to Pocahontas County Commissioners, addressing his concerns for Highland New Wind Development's project impacts on Camp Allegheny - the Civil War battlefield site is in Pocahontas ...This week, Foster said Pocahontas officials shared his concerns for the landmark battlefield, and intended to write to McBride, HNWD owner, and agency officials in both states.
Two planning issues are going to wait for a decision in Mineral County as the county commissioners ask the planning commissioners to review potential wind turbine regulations and prepare to look over a draft of the exotic entertainment ordinance.
"We're asking (the planning commission) to look at the public good," Commission President Wayne Spiggle said. "We're trying to figure out what we're going to look at in 10 years."
Despite a potential windfall of $300,000 a year or more for schools, the Mineral County Board of Education will not take a position in support of the proposed Pinnacle Wind Farm prior to the September hearing on the project to be conducted by the West Virginia Public Service Commission.
Officials from U.S. WindForce appeared before the school board earlier this month to preview the project atop Green Mountain just west of Keyser, as well as the plan to divert about three-quarters of the wind farm's property tax revenue to the school system. Opponents of the project appeared before the board at the same time.
The two utilities behind the proposed Potomac Appalachian Transmission Highline are putting their best foot forward.
Officials from Allegheny Power and American Electric Power held an extensive briefing for reporters on Wednesday in advance of public hearings on the project.
The $1.8 billion, 765-kilovolt line is proposed to run from St. Albans, W.Va., to Kemptown, Md., via northern Frederick County.
A contract has yet to be drafted, but there was discussion during a work session Tuesday among the county commissioners and representatives from US Wind Force as to how the company would guarantee tax money to come into the county.
"I'm trying to protect the people in Mineral County," Commission President Wayne Spiggle said. "I want to try to ensure they have the tax income from this industry. This industry has a unique taxation base."
Saying the Mineral County Commissioners "need more facts" in regard to the ongoing controversy over wind farms, Pamela Dodds and Judy O'Hara of the Allegheny Front Alliance spoke to the officials at length Tuesday in an attempt to debunk several claims being made by proponents of wind energy.
"I believe you need some more facts in order to better understand the claims that are being made," Dodds said. "U.S. Wind Force has made sweeping claims that are inaccurate and misleading."
With support for the proposed Pinnacle Wind Farm growing - at least as measured by the volume of letters sent to the West Virginia Public Service Commission - the PSC has established the time and place for the fall hearing on the proposed 23-turbine wind farm just west of Keyser.
While representatives of U.S. Wind Force were asking the Mineral County Board of Education Tuesday for their endorsement of the proposed Pinnacle Wind Farm, a member of the Allegheny Front Alliance asked them to think very, very carefully before they make any decision.