Article

Que regulations could impact 42-turbine wind farm

Supervisors finalized the county's strictest wind turbine ordinance during a public meeting on Thursday attended by residents and a wind energy representative. Jeffrey Rinehart, project manager for Horizon Wind Energy, said the ordinance would affect the company's plan to build the largest wind farm in the county, some 42 turbines, in the northern part of the township. "As far as we're concerned, it's pretty tight," Rinehart said. "We have to go back and see how it impacts the useable property."

QUEMAHONING TOWNSHIP - Supervisors finalized the county's strictest wind turbine ordinance during a public meeting on Thursday attended by residents and a wind energy representative.

Jeffrey Rinehart, project manager for Horizon Wind Energy, said the ordinance would affect the company's plan to build the largest wind farm in the county, some 42 turbines, in the northern part of the township.

"As far as we're concerned, it's pretty tight," Rinehart said. "We have to go back and see how it impacts the useable property."

The Texas company acquired leases on 16 properties with 2,070 acres and is seeking to add another 35 properties and 3,000 acres to a project that would generate 240 megawatts of electricity. The project would represent a $250 million investment in the township, according to a letter written to supervisors on Tuesday.

However, the new ordinance limits placement of the nearest unit a minimum of four times the height of the turbine from the property line of a non-participating landowner.

"The township would drastically reduce the available acreage for wind farm development in the township," the letter said. "At a worst case, the ordinance would make the project... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

QUEMAHONING TOWNSHIP - Supervisors finalized the county's strictest wind turbine ordinance during a public meeting on Thursday attended by residents and a wind energy representative.

Jeffrey Rinehart, project manager for Horizon Wind Energy, said the ordinance would affect the company's plan to build the largest wind farm in the county, some 42 turbines, in the northern part of the township.

"As far as we're concerned, it's pretty tight," Rinehart said. "We have to go back and see how it impacts the useable property."

The Texas company acquired leases on 16 properties with 2,070 acres and is seeking to add another 35 properties and 3,000 acres to a project that would generate 240 megawatts of electricity. The project would represent a $250 million investment in the township, according to a letter written to supervisors on Tuesday.

However, the new ordinance limits placement of the nearest unit a minimum of four times the height of the turbine from the property line of a non-participating landowner.

"The township would drastically reduce the available acreage for wind farm development in the township," the letter said. "At a worst case, the ordinance would make the project unfeasible, forcing Horizon to cease development at the site."

Residents and supervisors said the ordinance was fair and that it would encourage wind companies to work more with adjoining property owners while developing projects.

"You can sign a waiver, maybe you can be paid too," said Supervisor Mark Rininger. "We don't want to take the right away for people to have a windmill. It's a tough balancing act."

The new ordinance goes beyond county code by imposing noise limits and extending the distance a turbine must be placed from property lines.

The code includes limiting turbine noise to 45 decibels as measured from the property line of the nearest non-participating landowner.

Quemahoning's ordinance also differs from the county code by using the property line as the measuring standard as opposed to an occupied structure.

The distance equates to a little over 1,600 feet for a standard 2.1 megawatt turbine.

To compare, Shade Township requires a setback of three times the hub height from the nearest property line of a non-participating landowner.

Horizon is in the preliminary planning stage of its project, Rinehart said. They have no development timetable.


Source: http://www.dailyamerican.co...

FEB 27 2009
http://www.windaction.org/posts/19295-que-regulations-could-impact-42-turbine-wind-farm
back to top