Delaware or Pennsylvania
The debate over windmills was back on the table before the Logan Township Board of Supervisors Thursday evening. The Gamesa wind turbine company wants to put energy windmills on Horseshoe Curve and Brush Mountain. Council had already passed an ordinance limiting the windmills to an area outside the Curve and Brush Mountain.
Two related startup companies in Sunbury plan test projects to determine the feasibility of community wind farms and solar panels to generate electricity in the Susquehanna Valley.
Penn Wind and PA Solar are partnering with the German firm Juwi on the projects, according to Justin Dunkelberger, an engineer who started the two companies.
Three 180-foot-tall meteorological towers — two in Northumberland County and one in Schuylkill County — will be erected next month on rural ridge tops to obtain wind data, Dunkelberger said. They will resemble cell-phone towers, not wind turbines, he said.
Dunkelberger, who formerly worked with the L. Robert Kimball & Associates engineering firm in the Harrisburg area, believes Penn Wind can fill a niche in the state for community wind farms that consist of four to six turbines.
“They would be a little bit easier for people to swallow” than wind farms with 20 to 25 turbines, he said.
The wind turbine outside the state Department of Environmental Protection's Moshannon Valley office spins enough to supply energy to about a third of the building.
In other parts of Pennsylvania, large-scale wind farms are popping up as companies and people look for energy that's clean and renewable. The state has even set a long-term goal: 18 percent of the energy companies sell to retail customers must be from alternative sources such as waste coal and wind power.
Schuylkill County has always been known as the coal region but now there's another source of electricity popping up in the area. The county's first wind farm is now being built.
"When it's not drawing more than it's generating, then the extra energy goes back into PPL's grid," said Township Engineer Kevin Harrison.
The galvanizing force behind several community development projects stemmed from the process of creating the first comprehensive plan in 40 years, county commissioners said.
The commissioners adopted a comprehensive plan Monday immediately after a final public hearing that drew little public comment..... Some of the early accomplishments generated by the plan include Somerset County wind farm regulations, the Hotel Tax Tourism Grant Program, the Somerset County Leadership Program, an education workforce initiative, the Somerset County Job Fair, the Somerset Lake Park Feasibility Study, the Quemahoning Water Supply Project and the Laurel Highlands Business Park, said Commissioner James Marker.
BEDFORD — Three years ago, Todd Hutzell of Rockwood thought Sand Spring Mountain in Somerset County provided one of the region’s most beautiful views.
Now with 20 wind turbines lining the mountain just down the road, he has a much different view.
“It doesn’t matter how far you go from them. You can see them,” Hutzell.
Hutzell and his sister, Karen Ervin, spoke to about 200 Bedford County residents Monday night at a meeting of Save Our Allegheny Ridges, a nonprofit group formed last year to educate residents about the negative aspects of wind turbines.
BEAR CREEK TWP. — Little progress was made on the proposed wind farm at the township’s planning commission meeting Monday night.
Representatives from the company seeking approval to build the wind park, Energy Unlimited, and planning commission members sparred for nearly two hours over several issues.
Lookout Windpower Project LLC has submitted plans to build 18 wind turbines about 4 miles from the borough of Berlin.
The Leawood, Kan.-based company said it will move forward quickly with the project if it receives approval from the Somerset County Planning Commission.
Two other companies have also filed plans for wind farms with the commission.
“There’s no guarantee they will be going anywhere until they’re actually built,” agreed Bill Lehman, a land-development planner for the county who is reviewing Lookout’s proposal.
Proposal to increase use of alternative energy is deemed too expensive by officials.
MARPLE TWP. - Despite the upcoming "ENERGY STAR Change a Light Day" on Oct. 4, the outlook for cleaner, renewable energy in Marple looks a little dim.
A resolution promising that by 2010 the township would purchase 20 percent of its electricity from higher-priced sources - such as wind, solar and farm methane -was defeated by a vote of 4-3 Monday.
Three years ago a wind developer built the Waymart Wind Farm along the spine of the Moosic Mountain.
OGLE TOWNSHIP - Supervisors heard concerns from Ogle Township residents and property owners regarding the regulation of wind turbines in the township Tuesday night.
Twenty area residents from Ogle and Shade Township attended the supervisors meeting to express their concerns about property rights, noise levels, and the protection of the environment from a proposed wind energy development by Gamesa Energy USA, a subsidiary of Gamesa Corp., a Spanish wind turbine manufacturer.
MUNDYS CORNER— Jackson Township supervisors unanimously have approved two ordinances that will establish standards for wind turbine and other energy companies interested in property in the township..... The wind ordinance requires a windmill to be at least 2,500 feet from the nearest inhabited structure.
CAIRNBROOK— Residents in Shade Township — some pushing for approval of wind turbines and others determined to stop them — again spoke out at the township’s monthly meeting Thursday.
RIDGEBURY TOWNSHIP - Township supervisors adopted a windmill ordinance Wednesday and took questions from residents regarding the regulations.
The purpose of the ordinance, called a wind energy facility ordinance, is to provide "for the construction and operation of wind energy facilities in Ridgebury Township, subject to reasonable conditions that will protect the public health, safety and welfare," according to a copy of the ordinance.
The idea of supplementing Delaware's energy supply with an off-shore wind farm is gaining popularity among experts, politicians and citizens.
The University of Delaware has been studying the viability of wind power and has concluded that it is a possibility.
John Roth stood on his 88-acre farm, looking up at the land he owns on the mountain ridge. He hopes that someday he will see a new crop that needs no fertilizer and renews itself -- windmills that generate electricity and, most importantly, a steady flow of income.
Gov. Rendell announced yesterday that the state government would double, to 20 percent, the amount of electricity it consumed from renewable energy sources, moving Pennsylvania up among the nation's largest annual purchasers of green power.
BEAR CREEK TWP. – After about an hour of testimony and evidence submission that seemed more akin to a court of law than a municipal meeting, the township zoning board swiftly denied Energy Unlimited’s procedural challenges of amendments to the township’s zoning ordinance on Tuesday.