General or Idaho
Developers who hope to build a wind farm between Garforth and Micklefield have denied that they misled people in gathering support for the scheme.
In recent weeks representatives for Banks Developments have been on Garforth Main Street collecting signatures in favour of their plans for five wind turbines at Hook Moor between Micklefield and Garforth.
But opponents of the scheme claim that people were only led to believe they were signing up in favour of renewable energy and not the wind farm itself.
Carolyn Walker, spokeswoman for Hook Moor Wind Farm Action Group, claimed that it was only if people asked specifically that they were told the petiton was in favour of the wind farm planning application.
Tempers flared as an obviously miffed Texas Public Utility Commission assailed a Garland city attorney Friday over a news release in which he called a court ruling reversing a commission order "a big win for Texas ratepayers."
The meeting in Austin featured uncharacteristically heated and personal exchanges, coming on the heels of a Jan. 15 ruling by state District Judge Stephen Yelenosky of Austin.
On Tuesday county officials approved a revised project plan for a proposed Garrett wind farm, putting developer Constellation Energy one step closer to building an electrical substation and 28 wind turbines atop Backbone Mountain near Eagle Rock.
The Maryland Department of the Environment halted work last week on the site of a planned electrical substation along Eagle Rock Road due to issues with water runoff and erosion controls.
The question about whether Garrett County will use its power of eminent domain to seize private property if a citizen refuses to grant an easement to a wind turbine company is purely a hypothetical one, according to the Garrett County commissioners. The officials indicated on Tuesday that they have no desire to use that power anytime in the near future.
"You can never say never, but you can say that it's not on the horizon," said commission board chair Denny Glotfelty during a public discussion about eminent domain. "We preserve personal property. That's what we stand for. So we're not going to turn around and take that right away."
The Garrett County government stands to reap more than $840,000 in royalty payments from a 2003 agreement allowing construction of three wind turbines on county land, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press.
The disclosure follows the county commissioners' unanimous vote Feb. 5 to oppose construction of wind turbines on state forest land because they would reduce its recreational value.
Dennis Glotfelty, Republican chairman of the Board of County Commissioners, said Friday he saw no reason to reveal the county's stake in the Clipper Windpower Inc. project during heated debate about turbines on public land over the last three months.
"The people didn't bring it up and nothing was addressed on it one way or another," Glotfelty said.
The renewal of an easement on county property will help Clipper Windpower's subsidiary, Criterion Power Partners, proceed with financing on its project on Backbone Mountain.
"The commissioners agreed to extend the easement," Monty Pagenhardt, Garrett County administrator, said. "(The wind developers) are at a point where they are finally trying to get the financing.
Baltimore company Constellation Energy has finalized its acquisition of a Garrett County wind project, closing a deal for the $140 million, 70-megawatt Criterion wind farm with California-based Clipper Windpower Inc.
The project, now under construction, is scheduled to go online by the end of 2010.
Opponents of a Garrett County wind power project have hired the same attorney who helped another opposition group delay a West Virginia wind farm in federal court.
Morgantown attorney Brad Stephens represented the group Mountain Communities for Responsible Energy in opposing the Beech Ridge Energy wind farm during its permit process with the West Virginia Public Service Commission.
After three motions, Garrett County commissioners came to an impasse in regard to a decision on how to proceed with the public process of a draft land use management ordinance, a portion of which deals with wind turbine setbacks.
"At any time I will enter into a motion to develop zoning laws that will regulate the propagation and proliferation of future wind projects in the county," said Crawford."We need to start the dialogue on how we can control noise and flicker."
The Garrett County Commissioners are still hoping for legislation to allow for wind turbine setbacks.
"We looked into it over the summer and our attorney (Mike Getty) told us we didn't have the authority," Denny Glotfelty, chairman, said. "There is no reason not to get legislation. Mr. Getty reiterated that we ask for legislation to single out wind turbines."
Two Garrett County wind power projects, the first such in Maryland, are expected to begin commercial operation in a matter of weeks, even as opponents consider taking legal action against the facilties.
A 20-turbine wind farm atop Backbone Mountain at Roth Rock is set to become operational by the end of December.
Federal Environment Minister Peter Garrett is yet to approve Stockyard Hill Wind Farm under the government's environment laws.
The project went to the government in July, after it was found likely to have significant environmental impacts.
The project's three planning applications were put on public show last week.
Baltimore-based Constellation said it has agreed to acquire the $140 million Criterion wind project from Clipper Windpower Inc., which had proposed putting 28 tall turbines atop Backbone Mountain near Oakland. It was the first of three commercial-scale wind projects to win state approval under a 2007 law meant to promote wind energy development in Maryland.
Meanwhile, CPV Renewable Energy Co., with headquarters in Silver Spring, plans a 10-megawatt "solar farm" near Waldorf, to be built alongside an already proposed natural gas-burning power plant.
NIEDERAUSSEM, Germany -- Last year, to help combat global warming, Europe started charging industry for the right to spew hot air. For the first time on such a scale, governments slapped limits on the carbon-dioxide emissions of power plants, steelworks and other factories. Companies exceeding the caps have to buy CO2 "allowances" that trade on a European market.
Because CO2 emissions now carry a cost, Germany's largest utility, RWE AG, is spending to improve the efficiency of its aging coal-fired power plants, including its biggest power station here in the country's industrial heartland.
Some of the investment will be directed at transmitting electricity generated by wind power in the north of Scotland to the south of Britain where demand is greatest. Ofgem chief executive Alistair Buchanan said: "Our latest refinement of the price control proposals will ensure that the UK continues to get outstanding quality of service from the power and gas transmission companies at a time when the companies will be making heavy investment to connect vital new wind farms and other electricity plant."
Household gas bills will rise by at least £10 next year after the energy industry regulator, Ofgem, unveiled proposals to allow the companies which run Britain's gas distribution networks to spend £946m on upgrading work.
The move comes after increases of 40% since the start of the year despite wholesale gas prices falling by 40% over the same period.
Ofgem also announced proposals to allow £5bn worth of investment in expanding and upgrading Britain's gas and electricity transmission networks over the next five years.
The regulator said its proposals for gas distribution - the pipes that bring gas into homes and businesses - would add around £10 a year to bills for 2007/08, while spending on the gas and electricity transmission network would add another £2 to £3 a year to domestic energy costs.
Ofgem's proposals will allow the three companies which run the gas and electricity transmission networks - National Grid, Scottish Power and Scottish and Southern Electricity - to double the amount they were allowed to spend over the previous five years.
Galán's caution is a sign of the challenges still facing the US wind industry, which include uncertainty over the longer-term future of tax credits given the pressure on the federal budget, and generally weak electricity demand as the economy slowly emerges from recession.
A new report from Colorado's natural gas industry says increased use of wind energy indirectly results in raised pollution levels produced by some coal-fired power plants along the Front Range. ...Cycling operations at coal plants -- ramping them up or down in response to the wind or other issues -- causes them to run less efficiently and also interferes with emissions control equipment.
Big American utilities are slashing their investments in alternative energy. Florida Power & Light has cut its planned investment in wind power next year by 400 megawatts. Duke Energy of North Carolina has lopped $50m off its budget for solar power. And on October 31st VeraSun Energy, one of America's biggest ethanol producers, caught out by gyrations in the prices of corn and petrol (gasoline), filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. In the European Union the price of carbon permits has fallen from a high of almost €30 in July to around €20, making clean-tech investments less attractive.