General and Impact on Wildlife
U.S. District Judge Michael Davis dismissed a lawsuit filed by the developer of the 100-turbine Merricourt project, which remains unbuilt amid lingering fears that whooping cranes and piping plovers will be slashed to death by its turbine blades.
Although wind energy production is increasing in the Mountain State, two groups argue that it might ultimately be detrimental.
Every energy source has its critics ranging from the oil and gas industry to the wind industry and although these sources have their benefits, there is a downside to the equation.
The 420 wind turbines now in use across Pennsylvania killed more than 10,000 bats last year -- mostly in the late summer months, according to the state Game Commission. That's an average of 25 bats per turbine per year, and the Nature Conservancy predicts as many as 2,900 turbines will be set up across the state by 2030.
This is a bad time to be a bat.
Two ridgetop windmill research towers will rise north of Dillon Beach following a green light from county supervisors.
The county board voted 4-0 to reject an recommendation from the Planning Commission that more study be conducted to determine whether the facilities could trigger a bird slaughter.
Katie Fite, biodiversity director for Western Watersheds Project, said no conservation plan will be sufficient because after all the fires, China Mountain - southwest of Rogerson - is one of the few places left for sage grouse in the Jarbidge area.
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Opponents to a proposed electricity-generating turbine project in Champaign County questioned Thursday during state hearings whether the wind-turbines would harm an endangered species of bat, but a researcher who studied the issue said the windmills would not. ...UNU attorneys argued the study did not follow specific guidelines for net placement developed by the department of fish and wildlife. A follow-up study by wildlife officials, however, did find evidence of the Indiana bat in the area.
Meinke said she had worked closely with officials from the department of fish and wildlife when she conducted the study, which was deemed adequate at the time.
The US Forest Service is one step closer to issuing a decision on the Deerfield Wind Project. The Manchester Ranger District of the Green Mountain National Forest has reviewed the Public Service Board's approval and the public comments it received regarding last year's Draft Environmental Impact Statement. Now the forest service is ready to release a supplemental report on their latest findings. But despite the new information, some state officials are urging the forest service take extra precautions before they make a final decision.
The 39-turbine Roaring Brook wind farm project in the town of Martinsburg received little public comment Wednesday.
And the four people who did speak at the town Planning Board public hearing on the project expressed mixed opinions.
"There is insufficient evidence to suggest that birds won't be displaced by Roaring Brook Wind Farm," said Chris K. Lajewski, the Northern New York land steward for the Nature Conservancy.
As the wind-energy industry continues to grow, state officials are developing guidelines to help wildlife and wind turbines coexist on the High Plains, a first step that may serve as a blueprint for the rest of Texas.
"We're trying to get Panhandle-specific guidelines that would include the lesser-prairie chicken," said Kathy Boydston, program leader for wildlife habitat assessment at the state Parks & Wildlife Department.
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The Uinta County Commissioners voted unanimously to deny two conditional use permits that would have allowed an additional 120 wind turbines on Bridger Butte.
Bridger Butte Wind Power and Bridger Butte Wind Power II, being run by Tasco Engineering, wanted to add the turbines in the general area of Bigelow Road, and extending southward from the current project.
On Monday New Hampshire's Site Evaluation Committee is going to begin evaluating a proposed renewable energy project for Coos county.
Granite Reliable Power wants to put up 33 wind turbines on nine miles of ridgeline across Millsfield, Dixville and Dummer.
The project would go a long way to increasing the state's renewable energy portfolio.
But as NHPR Correspondent Chris Jensen reports, it has a great deal of opposition.
Miller, who is president of Friends of Big Morongo Canyon Preserve, told the attendees that Los Angeles citizens are opposing the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power's Green Path project, especially as it could be a threat to Joshua Tree National Park.
One plan to foil the energy path is to legally declare Big Morongo Canyon Preserve as a protected wilderness attached to Joshua Tree National Park, where no power lines are allowed. That would disrupt the contiguous transmission towers in one Green Path North alternative proposed by the Los Angeles power company.
Should wind turbines hundreds of feet tall -higher than the existing Kumeyaay wind farm turbines- be allowed in the rural McCain Valley/Boulevard region in East County? Does the nation's critical need for "green" energy outweigh the concerns of residents seeking to preserve the rural character of their backcountry communities? With new industrial-scale wind farms proposed across America, East County Magazine's Gayle Early set out on a quest to explore these issues in depth for our three-part series on wind energy.
With final approval of a siting permit less than a week away, anti-windfarm activists are firing yet another round of legal salvos in their bid to stop the construction of 124 wind turbines slated for north-central Greenbrier County.
State Public Service Commission hearings begin next Wednesday to determine if Beech Ridge Energy, owned by the Chicago-based company Invenergy, has complied with dozens of preconstruction terms that the PSC ordered when a conditional building permit was approved in 2007. ...Dave Buhrman said the Washington law firm Meyer Glitzenstein & Crystal has been hired to sue Beech Ridge over potential violations of the Endangered Species Act if construction goes forward.
Wiscasset is being considered for the largest energy development proposal - and potentially the largest development project of any kind - in the history of the state.
A Toronto entrepreneur who has developed Canadian wind farms has floated the idea of building a massive $2 billion underground hydropower station at the old Maine Yankee nuclear power station site.
The project would be one of the first of its kind anywhere.
The proposal raises questions about impacts on the Back River and groundwater, and it would use as much energy as it creates.
In Harney County, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and the county have seen a jump in interest surrounding the windy Eastern Oregon ridges and peaks near Steens Mountain as wind development companies look for different sources of the renewable power to meet state standards.
Harney County has already permitted one wind farm and is considering three more ...
But the wind farms that have either been approved or are under construction would add 2,400 megawatts to that total in the coming years, he said.
"Oregon in the next couple of years will move from around ninth in the country (for wind power production) to maybe third," Torres said.
A federal judge in Austin dismissed a lawsuit that sought to prevent further construction of two Kenedy County wind farm projects.
The suit was filed in December by the Coastal Habitat Alliance, a nine-member environmental group that includes King Ranch, claiming the projects would cause irrevocable damage to the environment and birds. The alliance also filed a suit in state court that was dismissed earlier this year.
The wind farm projects, by Australian-based Babcock and Brown Ltd. and Oregon-based Iberdrola Renewables, formerly PPM Energy, continued with site preparation and initial construction and erection of wind turbines
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Florida Power & Light Co.'s proposal to put six wind turbines on company-owned property near the St. Lucie Nuclear Plant might affect several threatened species of wildlife, according to a recently released analysis by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
According to the findings, FPL's proposal would have "a substantial adverse impact" on federally managed fisheries in the south Atlantic region and wetlands, the report states.
By year's end, developers expect to have about 250 huge wind turbines in place on Kenedy Ranch north of Raymondville, generating enough electricity to power approximately 90,000 homes.
And more could be on the way. ...In May, the alliance filed a court petition seeking to stop the development. The federal judge who heard the case has not yet made a decision.
The groups say that the ranch is on a major migratory pathway for birds, and they believe that tall, fast-spinning turbines on that pathway could lead to trouble.
"We think there's a very high likelihood of catastrophic bird kills," said Elyse Yates, spokeswoman for the alliance.
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As Florida Power & Light Co. gets closer to a public hearing on its wind turbine plan, skeptics of the project have plenty of questions left unanswered.
What about the effect on birds? Or sea turtles? And why put turbines in St. Lucie County in the first place? Nick Blount, external affairs manager for FPL on the Treasure Coast, tried to answer some of those questions from about 20 members of the St. Lucie County Conservation Alliance on Wednesday night and promised to try to find answers to others raised by residents.
"I respect people's opinion about our wind project, but what I do want to do is tell our side of the story," Blount said. "That's what we want."