General and Zoning/Planning
The Antrim Select Board voted to appeal the state ruling that denied a 10-turbine wind project after deciding to accept a $40,000 offer from Antrim Wind in a contentious meeting Monday that led to one resident being escorted out by police and several others walking away in frustration.
Senators took a bill that called for a three-year moratorium on large-scale wind developments, pared it down to legislation that would have required large energy generation projects to conform to Act 250 land-use criteria, and then stripped it to $75,000 worth of studies for the House to consider.
With Japan’s crisis raising new questions about nuclear power, this might seem an ideal time for a company that is a global leader in alternative energy and has a big presence in an energy-starved country, India.
But for Enercon of Germany, one of the world’s biggest makers of wind turbines, India is shaping up as a disaster.
The rule amendment did not become effective, however, until June 10, 2012, when it received the required legislative approval. The Board’s February 18, 2012 appeal decision affirmed the Department’s initial decision to apply the 45 dBA limit to the Saddleback Ridge Wind Project. This proved critical to the Law Court because the Project’s applications, while presenting evidence that the Project complied with the 45 dBA limit, presented no evidence that the Project would comply with the 42 dBA limit.
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Wind farm opponents are calling for a moratorium on further developments after a number of setbacks for the industry.
The Federal Magistrates Court ruled earlier this month that wind farms decreased the value of adjacent properties – something that opponents had long argued about with the South Australian Government.
Top Iberdrola executives seemed largely ignorant of American regulatory requirements. Auditors said they must "adjust more to business culture here, as opposed to expect U.S. stakeholders to accommodate themselves to Spanish custom and practice."
Top executives wouldn't answer auditors' questions, wouldn't allow board members to be interviewed and argued against disclosing information, making arguments that auditors described as "invalid" and "very peculiar."
A new, 19-turbine wind farm in Hancock County, which has the capacity to supply the average energy needs of 18,000 homes, has been completed.
Boston-based First Wind says its 34-megawatt Bull Hill project has also begun commercial operations. It’s located on the ridges of Bull Hill and Heifer Hill in Hancock County.
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“Now Therefore, regardless of the undemocratic terms of Ontario Bill 150, be it resolved that the Council of the Municipality of Meaford confirms that it is not desirous of any Industrial Wind turbine development within our corporation, and requests that developers of wind farms do not submit further applications within our municipal boundaries,” read the resolution.
Despite concerns from area residents, the Tipton County Commissioners unanimously approved rezoning for E-on Climate & Renewables operating center in rural Tipton County.
The commissioners Monday heard about one hour of discussion on the pros and cons of the operations and maintenance facility to be constructed east of Windfall.
The town board rescinded Thursday an earlier, “invalid” decision to force voters to show their driver’s licenses, with a Cape Vincent address, in order to vote in a town election.
The motion was made by Supervisor Urban K. Hirschey and seconded by Councilman Brooks J. Bragdon, both of whom had voted against the Aug. 11 resolution.
Despite the hoopla over renewable energy - media chatter, government rebates, neighbors who "go green" - the nuts and bolts of installing more Earth-friendly power sources often get stuck.
San Diego County, for example, is wrestling with how to handle applications for using residential wind turbines. Critics say the approval process is confusing and drawn-out enough to discourage investment in green power, just as companies are moving to fill the home-windmill niche.
"I've got a ton of inventory," said Fonzi, owner of Affordable Green Energy, a distributor of small, electricity-generating windmills in Essexville.
"But I can't put them in the air. They're sitting in boxes."
That's because, Fonzi says, most local governments in the county haven't passed ordinances governing the installation of "small wind," or turbines that generate up to 100 kilowatts of power and are intended for homes and small businesses.
E.ON Climate and Renewables hopes to establish a test tower southeast of Swayzee within the next two months. If results are satisfactory, the company could establish a 60,000-acre wind farm that stretches across four counties, including Grant, within the next three years.
Andy Melka, the assistant development manager for E.ON, said the project is still in the planning stages, and it will be two to three years before Grant County residents see any significant construction.
The Stutsman County Commission heard information from one of the leading wind farm developers in the nation during its regular meeting Tuesday. ...A principle point of contention in the proposed Stutsman County wind zoning ordinance is a requirement that all wind turbines be set back a distance of five rotor diameters from property lines unless neighboring property owners have signed waivers.
A new voice has entered Tyrone Borough's long debate over a proposed wind farm.
Gov. Ed Rendell called Mayor Jim Kilmartin in early February to urge borough officials to approve a lease agreement with Sandy Ridge Wind Farm developer Gamesa. ...Rendell made it clear that Tyrone's lack of participation would counteract the state's multimillion dollar efforts that brought the Spain-based wind developer to Pennsylvania.
The wind is picking up again.
Town Supervisor Tom Garretson, worried that tax revenues will begin dropping due to the recession, has directed his Alternative Energy Committee to begin exploring what size wind farm can be accommodated on East Hill under the town's wind regulations.
Local residents this year won't see wind farm towers going into the sky 12 miles northwest of Ellensburg, although site preparation work on the ground for the Kittitas Valley Wind Power Project may start this fall. ...Horizon also is seeking from Kittitas County right-of-way use for power lines from the wind farm.
The Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, through its Renewable Energy Trust fund, has awarded a total of 48 residential and small-business projects a total of $703,000 statewide since 2005. Twenty-four of those projects have been completed ...But an independent audit last spring found that, of the 19 that were up and running, nearly all were performing below levels forecast by installers, with an average power output 40 percent less than expected.
Wind power is easy to set up and creates no greenhouse gases. So why are so many communities rallying against them? ...Residents complain that straight answers are scarce, with towers designed to measure wind speed popping up across the valley, even as local officials say they have not received any applications for zoning bylaw changes. A community group called Save Our Skyline, or S.O.S. Renfrew County, has formed to fight at least four separate proposals along the Madawaska Valley. Two weeks ago, S.O.S. joined with 23 other local groups to create Wind Concerns, an umbrella organization dedicated to "protecting rural Ontario for future generations."
Similar fights are underway across the rest of Canada.
The proposed county partnership aimed at building two wind turbines in Mount Vernon Township was discussed Tuesday, when questions from County Board member Marcia Ward generated gavel banging and a bit of controversy. ...Ward questioned the location of the proposed turbines, suggesting that other locations in the county might be better. She said that she hasn't had enough site-specific information or questions answered to make a good decision. She said that a number of constituents had contacted her with doubts about the plans and location, and questioned whether bids ought to be let on the contract.