Energy Policy and Zoning/Planning
After much discussion Monday about the benefits and disadvantages of selling a parcel of town-owned land known as the Blair Lot, between Routes 7 and 43 (New Ashford and Hancock Roads), the Selectmen unanimously approved letting the voters have the final say at town meeting in May. ...He said the land has the potential to provide an income of $20,000 to $30,000 to the town every 15 years or so from timber harvests and could be a future site for wind turbines.
In Tuesday's blockbuster budget, Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty quietly cancelled the green energy subsidy that helps wind farms -- including the new one planned for St. Joseph -- stay viable.
"That's a problem," acknowledged Manitoba Finance Minister Greg Selinger, who is also in charge of Manitoba Hydro. "It makes it harder, no question."
The $200,000-plus Highland County hoped to receive from the proposed wind utility here could be cut to $120,000 if a legislative proposal survives the General Assembly this session, according to county officials.
Sen. Frank Wagner (R-Virginia Beach) submitted a bill that would allow wind energy facilities an exemption on state and local taxes up to 80 percent of the value of their projects if their capacity is less than 100 megawatts.
Phyllis Hartwig is not happy with the resolution, passed by the municipality of Killaloe, Hagarty and Richards on Jan. 7, requesting that the Ontario government place a moratorium on wind farms until further research is done ..."You're saying it's all good, good, good and we have people that have researched and come back and said bad, bad, bad. That's what council is facing. What we need are facts."
Visneskie asked council members if they wanted to rescind their original motion, but they voted to let it stand as it is.
Allegany County should introduce legislation to manage industrial and residential wind turbines "as expeditiously as possible," according to a report produced by County Planning Coordinator Phil Hager and colleagues.
That's exactly what some high-profile wind energy opponents have been requesting for months. ...
In a move intended to accelerate development of renewable energy on public lands, outgoing Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne issued a secretarial order Jan. 16 authorizing the Bureau of Land Management to establish offices to expedite the permitting of wind, solar, biomass and geothermal projects, along with electric transmission facilities, on BLM-managed lands.
The Manitowoc County Board of Adjustment rejected earlier this week a developer's request for approval to build a seven-turbine wind project west of Two Rivers.
The decision marks the latest setback in the project developer's four-year-long quest to erect a community-scale wind project in the Town of Mishicot, according to a press release from Renew Wisconsin.
At a time when renewable energy is all the rage, one of the windiest states in the nation seems unlikely to spur new projects because of a tight budget with little wiggle room. ...And Sen. Abbie Cornett of Bellevue, who leads the legislative committee that sets tax policy, said while wind energy incentives and the like are important, "I don't think we're going to be able to do much this year."
Opponents of the project, which include Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) and other residents in the area, vowed to continue their fight. They maintain the 400-foot turbines would kill birds, threaten sea life, and hurt tourism and fishing.
"I do not believe that this action by the Interior Department will be sustained," Kennedy said in a statement issued to the Associated Press. "By taking this action, the Interior Department has virtually assured years of continued public conflict and contentious litigation."
A proposed wind-energy project designed to send massive amounts of electricity from Aroostook County through southern Maine has been put on hold, due in part to the discovery that a technical glitch in transmitting that power could black out portions of southern New England.
The proposal involved hundreds of wind turbines with a total output of 800 megawatts, equivalent to the former Maine Yankee nuclear plant in Wiscasset.
Also filed under [
A tie vote by Tyrone Borough Council means wind turbines won't be going up on Ice Mountain - at least for now.
"Half the town's going to be pleased," said Mayor Jim Kilmartin, one of three who voted against leasing borough watershed land to wind energy developer Gamesa USA. "Half the town will be unpleased."
Councilmen Mark Kosoglow and Steve Hanzir also voted against moving ahead with the project that would put 15 to 20 wind turbines on the mountain as part of Gamesa's Sandy Ridge Wind Farm.
About 25 people attended Tuesday night's hearings on wind power and proposed Roxbury law changes to accommodate wind energy facilities. Most of them opposed such development, planner Mark Henry said. ..."The big thing is that we want to get the issue before the people of Roxbury so they can have their vote," he said.
Also filed under [
"All of these contracts are basically being done on the back of Nova Scotia Power's balance sheet," Chris Huskilson, president of Emera Inc., told The Chronicle Herald's editorial board Tuesday in Halifax. "Anybody telling me they can't raise money on Nova Scotia Power's balance sheet . . . I have a little trouble with that."
Selectmen voted Monday to ask the state Legislature pass legislation allowing Carrabassett Valley to annex the upper portion of Redington Township, subject to local voters' approval.
The move allows the process and debate to continue so that if the Legislature passes a private and special law, a townwide vote can occur. It will be up to Carrabassett Valley registered voters to make the final decision on annexation. If they approve, then it opens the process for a community-based wind farm to be built.
Also filed under [
After more than a year's worth of meetings, research, wrangling and debates, the project hit a brick wall of sorts last month as a report by AWS Truewind showed lower-than-expected wind speeds at the Legion Way site. Without strong enough winds, the project does not make financial sense.
On Monday night, the Committee for Renewable Energy for Barrington, rescinded its recommendation to the town council to accept a bid for the construction of the turbine.
Residents will head to a special town meeting Tuesday, Jan. 6, to consider approving a six-month moratorium on wind turbines.
The vote comes as a third company has expressed interest in erecting wind turbines on town-owned property. ...The warrant for the Jan. 6 meeting states there will be "discussion on the status and findings regarding proposals received," although there is not a specific article calling for a vote on the proposals.
There is, however, an article asking voters if they will approve a moratorium "on the issuing of permits allowing for wind turbine construction and development."
Also filed under [
The developer behind the Fairhaven wind turbines is abandoning the special permit granted earlier this year but not the project, according to a letter sent to the town last week.
CCI Energy will now work with the town on how to restructure the project using the recently enacted Green Communities Act in order to provide the greatest benefit to the town, according to James Sweeney, CCI's president.
The discussion in Hanover Park over wind turbines is generating more hot air.
The village board next month is to consider joining a group of area school districts and communities who are supporting the construction of power-generating wind turbines to reduce electricity consumption. Hanover Park Trustee William Manton has asked for the item to appear on the Jan. 15 agenda.
But Village President Rodney Craig, who's been a big proponent of wind energy, nonetheless is calling Manton's move a political ploy.
At a time when Idaho trails others in harnessing wind resources, the Office of Energy Resources has disbanded the state's wind-power think tank and reassigned a staff member who had focused on wind projects to work on energy efficiency instead.
The staffer, Gerald Fleischman, told the Idaho Wind Power Working Group he "will no longer be able to respond to requests about wind issues and wind projects," according to a letter obtained Tuesday by The Associated Press.
Also filed under [