Zoning/Planning or Nebraska
Purchasing wind turbines seems to be the popular move for campuses across Minnesota. Following in Macalester’s footsteps, Carleton and St. Olaf built 1.65 Megawatt turbines on their campus properties in 2004 and 2005 respectively. Macalester installed an urban wind turbine on campus April 23, 2003.
In the next few weeks, David Wheaton, Vice President for Administration and Finance, will decide whether Macalester will purchase a second wind turbine that would be located in Stevens County, in western Minnesota.
Hal Graham spoke before the crowd of just over 100 people, recalling how he strongly supported the concept of wind energy before a 50-turbine wind farm was developed near his property.
"I was concerned about noise but they said there was no noise," he told the audience and the town board. "There is now a turbine 1,600 feet from my house, and another 2,500 feet from my house. The one 1,600 feet away sounds like a jet engine and the other one reads 78 decibels. We effectively lost the still and the quiet of the night."
The Madison County Planning and Zoning Commission has finished drafting an ordinance to regulate the use of small and commercial wind turbines. According to Madison County P&Z Administrator Brent McFadden, the proposed ordinance has been in the works for the past six months.
If passed, the wind turbine ordinance would amend Zoning Ordinance No. 176 by adding a chapter on wind turbine placement and specifications.
The wind energy race is on in Madison County.
Three companies are vying to put up towers to test the wind near Norris Hill, a first step toward building wind farms.
But although the county is strongly supportive of developing wind energy, commissioners this week unanimously denied two requests to waive an ordinance requiring local, state and federal agencies to sign off on towers higher than 100 feet.
By a 3-0 vote, the Magnolia Town Board added an ordinance regulating the construction of wind turbines to the books.
The vote came on the heels of a heated public hearing at the same meeting, where nearly a dozen Magnolia residents voiced their support or concern for the ordinance.
The ordinance prohibits building wind turbines within a half-mile of a building or 1,000 feet of a property line. A provision allows homeowners to add a turbine as an easement to the property if they want a turbine within the half-mile.
The Magnolia Township Planning and Zoning Commission voted 4-0 Thursday to recommend a revised ordinance regulating the construction of wind turbines in the township. The ordinance now moves to the town board for approval.
Kevin Kawula, an active resident in the wind turbine discussion, supported the proposed ordinance for its compromise.
The revised ordinance states wind turbines could be constructed within the half-mile limit if the property owner agrees. ..."(A half-mile) is much better than 1,000 feet," he said. "And if someone wants to sign off on their health and safety, it's just like cigarette smoking-we can't regulate it completely."
A proposed wind ordinance that would keep wind turbines a half-mile from any home could be up for its first vote Thursday in Magnolia Township. ...The board decided to use the draft ordinance put together by the Town of Union Wind Study Committee, which spent five months researching wind energy, said Gordon Klitzman, Magnolia planning and zoning member.
"We thought that was probably a better idea (than the state's model draft ordinance)," he said. "Otherwise, we were kind of going by what the state said, but they didn't have any facts to back it up."
The Town of Magnolia Planning and Zoning Board voted 5-0 tonight to table its discussion on a draft ordinance that would regulate wind turbines.
More than 30 people turned out for the meeting, which included a public hearing on the draft ordinance.
The draft ordinance proposes wind turbines be placed at least a one-half mile from homes and other inhabited structures and at least 1,000 feet from property lines.
On Wednesday, the developer of a Mahanoy Township wind farm testified before the Schuylkill County Zoning Hearing board about his next project.
Joseph B. Green, a Shenandoah resident and senior project developer for Locust Ridge Wind Farm, is seeking a special exception to erect 16 additional wind turbines to create Locust Ridge Wind Farm II, located north of Mahanoy City off State Route 339. Green went before the board for a special exception for the first 13 windmills in January 2005.
“The zoning ordinance does not specifically allow for the development of a wind energy project in the conservation residential district,” Green said during a five-minute recess. “It’s the only way to get approval.”
The Mahanoy Township supervisors on Thursday approved two ordinances regarding the creation of wind and solar farms within the township.
The ordinances state that plans for wind turbines or solar panels must be reviewed by the township planning commission before they can be permitted in the township.
As a result of the changes, TrustPower will withdraw its Resource Consent application to the Dunedin City Council, and submit revised Resource Consent applications for a 200MW wind farm to the Clutha District and Otago Regional Councils. The revised applications, along with assessments of environmental effect, are expected to be lodged in approximately six weeks.
The Maine Use Regulation Commission voted 6 to 1 on Wednesday, June 6 to reopen the Public Record for Maine Mountain Power's wind farm proposal for Northern Franklin County.
A letter dated May 9, 2007 by MMP requested LURC to reopen the Public Hearing and Public Record because it had reevaluated its initial petition in response to both a strong opposition that raised concern about the project and on a modification recommendation proposed by the Natural Resource Council of Maine.
During the lengthy Public Hearing process, NCRM suggested that the petitioner revise its original proposal and develop only the Black Nubble Mountain Range to reduce the size of the development area which will reduce the potential for impacts.
Maine land use regulators voted unanimously to approve TransCanada's wind-power project in western Maine, but rejected a second poject by another group that had been scaled back after being turned down a year ago.
The Land Use Regulation Commission voted to allow a 44-turbine project near the Canadian border in Franklin County, saying TransCanada Maine Wind Development's application answered its concerns that roads would be built properly, and birds and bats would be protected.
Commissioners also said the developer's project would not present the same kind of intrusion on the highlands scenery as the project proposed by Maine Mountain Power, whose 18-turbine project south of TransCanada's was turned down by a 4-2 vote earlier in the day.
The rule amendment did not become effective, however, until June 10, 2012, when it received the required legislative approval. The Board’s February 18, 2012 appeal decision affirmed the Department’s initial decision to apply the 45 dBA limit to the Saddleback Ridge Wind Project. This proved critical to the Law Court because the Project’s applications, while presenting evidence that the Project complied with the 45 dBA limit, presented no evidence that the Project would comply with the 42 dBA limit.
The Nays had in on March 8th when the voters at the Harpswell, Maine annual town meeting took up the issue of a proposed wind study on Long Reach Mountain. The town was being asked to raise $10,000 for a wind study, to be matched by private capital to be raised by the project proponent, a local resident. If the study had proved that there was sufficient wind, it would have set in motion a proposal by the proponent to site 3-4 wind turbines on town property. ...Only one person, the original project proponent, spoke in favor.
Acres of solar-electric panels installed near communities that use lots of power in the summer could be an alternative to a controversial and costly upgrade of the transmission system in southern and central Maine, a Portland-based energy company is asserting.
GridSolar LLC suggests erecting solar panels in 25-acre fields, initially around the midcoast and Lewiston-Auburn. The locations would coincide with areas that Central Maine Power Co. has identified as being most prone to future blackouts and reliability problems, GridSolar said.
The wind in New England blows mainly against big green-energy projects. At least that's the assessment of Matt Kearns, an audibly frazzled project manager for Newton, MA-based UPC Wind.
Despite winning final approval last week for the creation of New England's largest wind-energy installation, now under construction on a ridge in northern Maine, Kearns says the regulatory and political barriers to placing major cleantech facilities in the region are high enough to scare off all but the most persistent and well-funded entrepreneurs.
"The uncertainty and the costs associated with that uncertainty are pretty overwhelming, frankly, in many cases," says Kearns, who has spent the last several years shepherding UPC's Stetson Mountain wind farm project past the cautious scrutiny of state, county, and federal agencies, not to mention local residents and environmental groups.
The Planning Board doesn't believe a moratorium on wind farms, or new regulations regarding massive wind turbines, are necessary, but other Maine and upstate New York towns disagree, a news survey revealed Wednesday. ...Board members readily admitted that they hadn't any experience dealing with wind turbines, but said it would be their responsibility to learn. Lincoln's land-use laws are comprehensive enough to make further regulations regarding wind farms unnecessary, Ireland said.
MainPower has confirmed it plans to build a wind farm on Mt Cass, about six kilometres east of Waipara in North Canterbury.
Electricity lines company MainPower said it has reached an agreement with a private land owner to extend its planned wind farm at Mt Cass in North Canterbury.
The extension would double the original size and energy output of the wind farm.............