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Energy answer blowing in the wind?

The Albemarle County Planning Commission has thrown out the idea of allowing commercial wind turbines in the county-but it's mulling the idea of smaller wind turbines for individual homeowners. ...the devices are behemoths that are up to 550' tall, dwarfing everything around them. "As I understand it, where they might be adequate, there would be unacceptable environmental consequences to the surrounding area," says Commissioner Jon Cannon. Fellow Commissioner Marcia Joseph echoed Cannon's feelings on commercial wind turbine creation. "My main concern is lining the ridgeline with commercial-sized wind turbines," says UVA Environmental Sciences Professor Rick Webb. "I'm concerned about industrial scale development intruding on what remains of wilderness areas we have left."

County considers allowing small wind turbines

The Albemarle County Planning Commission has thrown out the idea of allowing commercial wind turbines in the county-but it's mulling the idea of smaller wind turbines for individual homeowners.

Because of its location, Albemarle doesn't have the high winds that would be needed for commercial wind turbines, though it does have pockets that could be used for smaller scale wind-energy production. Also, the devices are behemoths that are up to 550' tall, dwarfing everything around them.

"As I understand it, where they might be adequate, there would be unacceptable environmental consequences to the surrounding area," says Commissioner Jon Cannon. Fellow Commissioner Marcia Joseph echoed Cannon's feelings on commercial wind turbine creation.

"My main concern is lining the ridgeline with commercial-sized wind turbines," says UVA Environmental Sciences Professor Rick Webb. "I'm concerned about industrial scale development intruding on what remains of wilderness areas we have left."

However, the Planning Commission is more optimistic about wind turbines for use at individual properties. Those can be as small as 43'-which is still... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

County considers allowing small wind turbines

The Albemarle County Planning Commission has thrown out the idea of allowing commercial wind turbines in the county-but it's mulling the idea of smaller wind turbines for individual homeowners.

Because of its location, Albemarle doesn't have the high winds that would be needed for commercial wind turbines, though it does have pockets that could be used for smaller scale wind-energy production. Also, the devices are behemoths that are up to 550' tall, dwarfing everything around them.

"As I understand it, where they might be adequate, there would be unacceptable environmental consequences to the surrounding area," says Commissioner Jon Cannon. Fellow Commissioner Marcia Joseph echoed Cannon's feelings on commercial wind turbine creation.

"My main concern is lining the ridgeline with commercial-sized wind turbines," says UVA Environmental Sciences Professor Rick Webb. "I'm concerned about industrial scale development intruding on what remains of wilderness areas we have left."

However, the Planning Commission is more optimistic about wind turbines for use at individual properties. Those can be as small as 43'-which is still 8' taller than the maximum height allowed for structures in the county.

"You'd have the ability to generate electricity for home use that would not involve the combustion of fossil fuels and the creation of green house gases," Cannon says.

Despite the benefits of smaller wind turbines, Cannon notes, "We have struggled in the telecommunications context with the placing of large structures [like cellphone towers] that don't impair the landscape values that are so important in Albemarle County."

Another possible factor in terms of the installment of small wind turbines would be the costs for those putting them up on their property.

"These things on any reasonable scale cost $30,000, which is a lot of money to start with. In economic sense, it will never pay for itself," Webb says. "If the economics made sense, if, for example, the subsidies that are available for commercial scale projects from corporations were available for small homeowners, I would consider putting up a small wind turbine myself. But that's not the case."

As early as June, county staff will bring back a few ordinance options for the Planning Commission to consider at a work session.


Source: http://c-ville.com/index.ph...

MAY 27 2008
http://www.windaction.org/posts/15191-energy-answer-blowing-in-the-wind
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