Note: counts do not include items in sub-categories
The town and planning boards of Lyme deserve accolades for their effort in developing zoning laws with regard to wind turbines. They have actually put the horse before the cart with every action they have taken on this issue. ...The town of Lyme draft zoning law embraces compromise; it allows for the placement of turbines within the town, including Three Mile Bay, while protecting those who will not be signing a lease with BP.
BP states that they may not build in the area if the wind energy facilities law in Lyme is adopted. This may not be a bad thing. Everyone knows that wind turbines are the new sexy alternative energy solution right now. But technologies are changing and the wind is not going anywhere. If one wind developer leaves, another will fill its place – possibly with a smaller, more energy efficient product.
The smugness with which the two abutters opposing the Hyannis Country Gardens wind turbine were met at a recent meeting by some planning board members and non-abutters was, to me, insulting.
It is sad that the Savoy Planning Board has been made to look like the bad guys in this case, and it is unfortunate that we have had to endure so many attacks from both sides of this issue, only to have it come to this conclusion.
I can state without any reservation that the current members of the Planning Board are dedicated folks who really tried to develop a bylaw that was best for Savoy. Despite our individual beliefs regarding wind energy, we really worked diligently to maintain neutrality as we developed our version of the bylaw. ...As a result of these developments, I have submitted my letter of resignation to the Selectboard, basically stating that in my opinion serving on this board is a "no-win" situation.
I do wish the town of Savoy the best for the future and only hope that the decision to accept this bylaw was the right one. I also sincerely hope that the wounds inflicted in this battle will be healed and that we can move forward to a brighter future.
Maine's love-hate relationship with wind power will face a big test Monday. Actually, a couple of them.
Two wind farm proposals could face up-or-down votes by the Maine Land Use Regulation Commission, the zoning board for northern Maine.
All bets are off about whether the projects are in for a warm hug or a cold shoulder.
Both projects would be in the hills of Franklin County, and together they would double Maine's wind power capacity.
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One of the most disturbing aspects of the turbine debate is its sole focus on health and safety issues; there are much more compelling reasons for regulating industrial turbines, particularly in the environmental and economic spheres. I find it particularly disturbing that the Wisconsin statutes that mandate renewable energy use have deliberately removed the term "welfare" from local regulatory powers to protect "health, safety and welfare." This censors debate on all issues except health and safety, and the most important reasons to regulate commercial turbines are left off the table. ...This [Trempealeau County] ordinance passed not because the citizen's committee was stacked, or because the county board is incompetent, it passed because the developers were unable to demonstrate that the county had anything to gain by unfettered development. Protecting the health and safety of its citizens was more important than profits.
The message gets repetitious: There needs to be more electrical power transmission capacity in and from North Dakota ... more transmission capacity ... more ...
So, isn't the answer as simple as stringing a bunch of lines?
The fact is, no. The power has to have somewhere to go and must travel by an extraordinarily complex network of technology. For our area it's managed by a strange entity called the Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator. ...The snag is the process of hooking in a new power source. ...Midwest's queue has 224 wind projects, a 64 percent increase in one year. Not all will make it through the process; actually only 32 percent will end up connecting and producing. About 40 percent of requests drop out before even commencing the required FERC study. And 10 percent of those in the queue don't help matters at all, because they're just sitting on approvals ...
In Enfield, developer John Rancich has proposed building 10-12 wind mills on Connecticut Hill. The wind farm proposal is controversial, to say the least.
About 50 people packed a public hearing recently about a town proposal to limit where wind farms can be placed in relation to the nearest road. The hearing came amid allegations of previously secret meetings that violated the state's open meetings law. Rancich contends the "setback proposal," as it is known in Enfield, will wipe out his plans for a wind farm.
All of this tension makes you wonder if a wind farm is worth it. We have neighbor fighting neighbor and governments under stress to regulate something they are not familiar with. The end result is the building of large structures that could, if placed in the wrong spot, disrupt our county's landscape. That said, we aren't opposed to wind farms. We just want them placed in the right locations.
In response to your recent article on wind farms in Tioga County, it was with a blatant disrespect for their own Subdivision and Land Development Ordnance, the Tioga County Planning Commission (TCPC) voted unanimously to give AES conditional preliminary approval for AES’ Armenia Mountain Wind Farm at their December 13th meeting. Several specific ordnances were ignored or purposely misapplied ...
Contrary to what you may have heard, the Great Bear Rainforest is not under attack. Neither is Premier Gordon Campbell backing down from his promise to protect environmentally significant portions of the central coast because the province is considering applications for electrical-power generation in the region.
As The Sun's Larry Pynn discovered this week, the province is looking at proposals for a large wind farm and four commercial run-of-the-river power generation projects that have the potential to infringe on either existing or planned conservancies. ...The 2006 legislation defining the conservancies on the central coast specifically forbids "large hydro-electric" developments, but permits run-of-the river projects designed to provide power to local communities not serviced by the provincial power grid. ...But the legislation is silent on wind power and does not specifically forbid transmission lines.
Lack of vision and an inability to understand the importance of preserving a town's character and its sense of place, combined with the negative impact of commercial development, has made Fairhaven what it is today. A big part of our problem has been Executive Secretary Jeff Osuch and this non-elected public official's ability to control town government. His blind confidence in new technology has made us a testing ground for pet projects.
This time, the town has been sold on two giant misplaced wind turbines by using a smokescreen of environmentalism. Again, he has masterfully played town government to make it happen.
As the economy expands and the population grows, so does the demand for power. Even a cursory review of available options shows how few real choices we all have. For example, all our major hydropower sites are built, coal power is environmentally unacceptable (by Energy Northwest and many others), new nuclear in the region is still 20 years away, wind power is intermittent and expensive, solar power lacks output, tidal and wave power are undeveloped and environmentally suspect, and natural gas supplies are dangerously close to shortages.
Any claims that the region can meet its future power needs with wind power and conservation alone are woefully misguided and overstated. As wind power developers we have first-hand knowledge of wind powers benefits and limitations. Shunning promising technologies like Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle without understanding them is the first step toward blackouts, sky high prices, and power-shortage panic like we saw in 2000-2001.
the Calumet County Board has very limited authority under Wisconsin law to restrict wind towers. Wisconsin Statute 66.0401 states in part: No county may place any restriction, either directly or in effect, on the installation or use of a wind energy system, unless the restriction satisfies one of the following conditions: a) Serves to preserve or protect the public health or safety; (b) Does not significantly increase the cost of the system or significantly decrease its efficiency; or (c) Allows for an alternative system of comparable cost and efficiency.
Since this law was enacted in the early 1980s, there has not been one recorded case where a municipality was successful in banning wind towers outright.
The smart money knew the fix was in two years ago when word started circulating that construction mogul Jay Cashman would move to erect a 120-unit wind farm in Buzzards Bay. ...Apparently Cashman is making things right for his wind farm proposal, too. House Speaker Sal DiMasi has not just admitted but declared that he and Jay Cashman are close personal friends as are their wives. Unable to leave well enough alone, the speaker goes on to say that his personal relationship with Cashman has nothing to do with a nasty little piece of stealth legislation he tucked into an energy bill last week. This stealth amendment would allow construction of alternative energy facilities -- read "wind farms" -- in state ocean sanctuaries where such construction has been strictly forbidden until now.
The surprise that one week before Thanksgiving Massachusetts Speaker of the House Sal DiMasi had thrown a last-minute Mickey into a state energy bill was no surprise at all…just business as usual. Well… maybe not so usual.
The obvious beneficiary of this maneuver to allow development of “alternative energy” projects within previously protected state ocean sanctuaries is one Jay Cashman, multi-millionaire construction tycoon and close personal friend of the speaker. Cashman has announced his plans to desecrate Buzzards Bay in the name of renewable profits.
Zoning is based on the premise that people who own property have a constitutionally guaranteed right to control of their property. Whenever courts have considered the constitutionality of zoning, which unquestionably constitutes a governmental control of private property (a power of government which did not exist until 1921, or thereabouts) the courts have always concluded that zoning is constitutional because, in assuming control over private property, the government is giving back something of equal value. That something is the government's protection from having their property diminished in any way and is also a right guaranteed by the government. ...No one in the wind farm project area who purchased their property when it was zoned agricultural should have to accept industrial activity on that land because they are being denied their right to enjoy their property as it existed before zoning took effect. That is the guarantee that zoning must provide to be constitutionally legal.
... since any wind farm construction would be several years away anyway, there is no urgency to stop the clock on negotiations now.
This also matters because a Delaware wind farm could be the first offshore in the nation. Although there are land installations across the country, other wind projects off Cape Cod and Long Island have been stymied by controversy, including over aesthetics, cost and habitat impacts.
The state, through a series of workshops, is enlisting opinions for shaping choices of electricity sources. Opinions should not shape policy. Educated, thoughtful planning and research should be operative. Jane and John Q. Public are not qualified to shape policy on such a complex matter. Nor are state-level planners, it would seem, since they are the ones who are asking, "What shall we do?" ...I've also heard that the workshop materials are biased toward wind power, citing exaggerated benefits and unrealistic capacity factors. ...The cost of these useless, wasteful workshops and "deliberative polling" ($500,000) is being passed on to each and every one of us. I want my money back.
Asked this week about this summer's decision to preempt Kittitas County's rejection of the controversial Kittitas Valley Wind Power Project Washington Public Lands Commissioner Doug Sutherland said it was an easy call. ...In recommending preemption of the Kittitas County decision in August, the siting council opined that proponents of the KV wind project had met most local land use requirements before county commissioners rejected it.
Sutherland said the message constituents were sending to commissioners at the time was "if they wanted to continue in office politically, you're not going to allow these instruments. From the county's position, it was a political decision."
County government has the right and duty to investigate the reality of wind turbine facilities and to write a wind energy ordinance that protects the health and safety of its citizens. ...You have to be very naive to believe a 400 to 500 foot, 270-ton to 330-ton piece of machinery would not make noise and negatively affect your family and community. Yes, many of us in Trempealeau County want to protect our health and safety - if you're as smart as I think you are, wouldn't you too?