Delaware or Pennsylvania
The prolonged hearing by the county Zoning Hearing Board on whether to allow a large-scale wind farm to be built in northern Lycoming County - plus the subsequent appeal in county court of their denial of that project - underlines the county's need for specific regulations regarding wind energy, Lycoming County Planning Commission chairman W.E. Toner Hollick said.
In the midst of the state government's push for alternative energy and projected increases in electrical costs, Butler Township Zoning Hearing Board felt the need to establish rules regulating windmill use for safety reasons.
The seven-page proposed ordinance, partially drafted by Zoning Hearing Board Solicitor Donald Karpowich and Zoning Hearing Board Chairman Dave Kostanesky, will be sent to the township supervisors for approval.
Kostanesky also suggested the township planning commission might want to review and tweak the ordinance.
The Lycoming County Planning Commission postponed a decision Thursday on whether to recommend an amendment to the county zoning ordinance to significantly change where electricity generating wind turbines may be built. Planning Commission staff had put together an amendment that, if approved by the county commissioners, would allow wind turbines in resource protection and agriculture districts by right and in countryside districts by special exception granted by the county zoning hearing board.
Two more wind turbine developments will be built in Somerset County this fall.
Edison Mission Group of Irvine, Calf., is in the process of erecting two wind developments: one in Shade Township and one in Brothersvalley and Northampton townships, Charley Parnell, Edison Mission spokesman said in a telephone interview Thursday afternoon.
"The turbines plan to be erected hopefully sometime between September and November," he said.
Eighteen turbines will be included on the Lookout WindPower site, which lies east of state Route 160 in Brothersvalley and Northampton townships. Workers have been clearing trees and brush at the site for several weeks, Parnell said.
The wind farm will be stocked with larger 2.1-megawatt turbines, giving it the ability to produce 37.8 megawatts of electricity.
"The height of each turbine will be approximately 400 feet from the ground to the tip of the blade," Parnell said.
He said the turbines are similar in size to those already in the county.
NOXEN TWP. - Within a few years, South Mountain's 2,330-foot profile in Wyoming County could grow a few hundred feet if an international energy company goes through with a wind turbine park project it's considering.
Representatives from BP Alternative Energy, part of the former British Petroleum, have discussed the idea with county and local officials to construct as many as 90 turbines on the site, which encompasses more than 100,000 acres. Wind-gauging anemometers are being installed to study the usability of the wind resources. According to state wind maps, wind potential in that area just barely reaches a level considered viable for energy production.
OGLE TOWNSHIP - Local conservation groups are working to document the health of a number of streams that face potential impact from both future wind turbine and mining projects......
Shortly after, the first of 192 fish was scooped out of the water, stunned by the electrical pulse emitted by Kagel's rig. Among the catch were 21 trout, some so small they were indicative of natural reproduction, said Reckner, the program director for the stream team.
Finding that sections of Piney and Cub Run sustain the natural reproduction of trout species has led to them being classified as exceptional-value by the state.
Last month the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service removed the bald and golden eagles from the federal Endangered Species List.
While eagle populations have grown in every state, we also learned last month that five species of common birds in Pennsylvania are declining at an alarming rate.
According to Audubon Pennsylvania, the golden-winged warbler population has declined an astounding 98 percent since 1967, followed by the Eastern meadowlark (86 percent), wood thrush (62 percent), American bittern (59 percent) and ruffed grouse (22 percent).
Three of the species depend on forest habitats, one lives in wetlands and the fifth resides in agricultural areas.
Five different birds, three different habitats and they are all suffering. That's not good.
GETTYSBURG, Pa. - Apple trees have been planted, wood fences restored and power lines buried in recent years to transform the Civil War battlefield in Gettysburg to the way it looked when Union and Confederate forces clashed on farmers' fields in 1863.
But preservationists now worry that the national military park in Pennsylvania's picturesque fruit belt soon may be in the shadow of high-powered transmission lines.
It is not just Gettysburg that worries them as a result of a 2005 law that gave federal regulators new authority over where power lines are built. They fear the law could place hundreds of national and state parks and other protected sites in the Northeast and Southwest in or near the path of massive power lines.
A fight over renewable energy and biofuels led to a temporary shutdown of Pennsylvania's state government and, despite a compromise being reached, the opponents will resume battle in September.
At issue is Governor Edward Rendell's energy independence strategy to promote renewables, energy conservation and biofuels. The Democratic governor hoped to fund an $850 million effort through a surcharge of 0.05 cents/kWh on utility bills, but Republican Senate leaders who oppose taxes resisted the idea.
They also objected to measures requiring utilities to opt for conservation and renewables when customer load grows. And they opposed requiring utilities to install 'smart' meters that allow customers to see time-of-day prices and cut usage accordingly.
Pennsylvania Governor Edward Rendell and the Republican-controlled Senate reached an agreement last night on a $27.3 billion state budget, ending a partial state shutdown that idled 25,000 government employees.
Speaking after 11 p.m. local time, the second-term Democrat said he and Republicans agreed on a deal that left intact the budget outline he presented in February. Rendell spokesman Chuck Ardo said Rendell agreed to forgo a planned annual surcharge on energy bills to fund clean energy programs that became the main sticking point and said he would seek another source of money for the project.
The controversy over the bird started brewing during township meetings months earlier. Some residents disputed eagles are anywhere near the township. Other residents debated wind farms and whether the turbines would harm eagles or other birds.
The Pennsylvania Game Commission is wondering the same thing. The commission is set to hire a new employee who would investigate mortality rates in birds and bats caused by wind turbines.
Wind turbines in some areas have caused bat mortality rates to increase, said Tim Conway, the commission's Northeast Region information and education director.
WASHINGTON, DC, United States (UPI) -- Multiple reports and studies, especially those published in the last year, suggest the United States, specifically the East Coast, has great potential for offshore wind.
The politicized debate over whether to develop wind power offshore has dragged on since the late 1990s, when the first project was proposed in Cape Cod, Mass., off the Nantucket Sound. Since then there have been several other proposals, none of which has been completely approved.
Renewable energy projects including wind and biomass are springing up in Schuylkill County, and state utilities will be required to increase their purchase of power generated by these and similar sources over the next 13 years.
Although reports suggest customers should not experience much increase in cost and, in some cases, could see savings as these new sources become more prevalent, experts say other factors must also be considered.
"There is no magic bullet as far as getting us off fossil fuels right now," said Joel Morrison, a research associate at Penn State University and fund manager for the West Penn Power Sustainable Energy Fund.
About 220 people recently attended a presentation in Troy on the Armenia Mountain Wind Farm planned for Bradford and Tioga (Pa.) counties.
Robert J. White, the vice president of AES Armenia Mountain Wind, LLC, the company planning the project, said the event was held at Memorial Auditorium last month.
He said a question-and-answer session followed the project presentation, and people had a lot of questions. He said the question-and-answer session lasted from a half-hour to 45 minutes.
He said that some questions regarded the impact of the project on birds and property values.
Right now, studies are being done.
Legislators in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic passed a number of bills applying to the electric power industry, with several states committing to emissions reductions through the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative and other states making broad organizational changes to their regulatory processes.
SHADE TOWNSHIP - Supervisors have announced the possibility of a new wind farm coming to the township.
Airtricity Inc., a company that develops and operates wind farms across Europe and North America, has submitted a preliminary plan to supervisors and plans to apply for a permit, said Chairman John Topka.
"This is strictly an announcement," he said. "We'll have to wait for the application."
Officials from two townships splitting the Cambria-Blair county line may not be in total agreement about boundaries.
But the question - at least as far as two wind turbines and their royalties are concerned - is being put to rest, officials said.
Gamesa Energy USA, developers of the Allegheny Ridge Wind Farm, has agreed to pay an undisclosed amount of money to Juniata Township, Blair County, for the two windmills in question. In return, the township will not contest a land survey putting the structures in Portage Township.
DOVER -- Four state agencies rebuffed Conectiv Energy's request to submit an offshore wind farm proposal to compete with Bluewater Wind.
At Tuesday's Public Service Commission meeting, Conectiv officials argued they would have submitted a proposal for a wind farm earlier if they had known that state officials were seriously thinking about commissioning one.
Instead, they proposed a natural gas plant.
But members of the commission, and other state agencies, collectively said Conectiv's overture came too late. Bluewater Wind is already in negotiations with Delmarva Power for a long-term power purchase agreement.
As the legislature pushed past its weekend budget deadline, the state's power industry squared off with Gov. Rendell over energy proposals he says are crucial to keeping electricity prices from skyrocketing as decade-old caps expire in the years ahead.
Dozens of lobbyists representing utilities and power generators were working the Capitol's anterooms last week, pulling legislators off the floor to urge changes in the package of bills that Rendell calls his "Energy Independence Strategy."
The fight helped derail efforts to pass a 2008 budget by this weekend's traditional deadline, as Rendell repeated his threat to hold up the budget unless his energy package was approved.
Wind turbines are supposed to be a cleaner form of energy designed to keep the air clear, but some residents near Shaffer Mountain by the Somerset, Bedford County line argue, the wind farm will actually destroy the environment. Now their voices are being heard.