Article

Wind project blows near

Wind turbines could be part of the landscape in Bedford County soon. A proposed wind energy project, in development since 2005, could place two dozen 405-foot-tall turbines on top of Dunning Mountain in the next couple of years - if approved by the state Department of Environmental Protection and supervisors in the four municipalities.

BEDFORD - Wind turbines could be part of the landscape in Bedford County soon.

A proposed wind energy project, in development since 2005, could place two dozen 405-foot-tall turbines on top of Dunning Mountain in the next couple of years - if approved by the state Department of Environmental Protection and supervisors in the four municipalities.

Portland, Ore.-based Iberdrola Renewables spokesman Paul Copleman said the project will provide 48 megawatts of wind power. One megawatt can power 250 to 300 homes for one year, he said.

In a meeting earlier this month, Laura Jackson, chairwoman of Save Our Allegheny Ridges, introduced curious residents to the project that will span Bedford, South Woodbury, King and East St. Clair townships.

All four townships have wind ordinances in place.

The two dozen people at the meeting voiced concerns over potential environmental impact and the project being an eyesore.

"The noise issue is going to be a really big one," especially in the New Enterprise and Salemville areas, Jackson said.

Ginny and Ron Deeter of Berlin were at the meeting to discuss the impact a wind project in their back yard has had on their lives.

"I think the worst is... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

BEDFORD - Wind turbines could be part of the landscape in Bedford County soon.

A proposed wind energy project, in development since 2005, could place two dozen 405-foot-tall turbines on top of Dunning Mountain in the next couple of years - if approved by the state Department of Environmental Protection and supervisors in the four municipalities.

Portland, Ore.-based Iberdrola Renewables spokesman Paul Copleman said the project will provide 48 megawatts of wind power. One megawatt can power 250 to 300 homes for one year, he said.

In a meeting earlier this month, Laura Jackson, chairwoman of Save Our Allegheny Ridges, introduced curious residents to the project that will span Bedford, South Woodbury, King and East St. Clair townships.

All four townships have wind ordinances in place.

The two dozen people at the meeting voiced concerns over potential environmental impact and the project being an eyesore.

"The noise issue is going to be a really big one," especially in the New Enterprise and Salemville areas, Jackson said.

Ginny and Ron Deeter of Berlin were at the meeting to discuss the impact a wind project in their back yard has had on their lives.

"I think the worst is the foggy, raining nights when you get the banging, the thumping," Ginny Deeter said of noise generated by the Edison Energy project. "It brings you straight out of bed."

"We were told, 'you'll never know they're back there,'" she said of conversations with project developers.

Co-project developer Gary Verkleeren said while the sight of the tall turbines may "cause stress" for some, wind projects typically are overwhelmingly supported by community members.

"Most people that I run into in rural counties such as Bedford support wind power and clean, renewable energy," he said.

Iberdrola representatives said the greatest benefit of this project may be on the local economy.

"A project this size will create a number of temporary jobs during construction," Copleman said. "Some of these projects, depending on where we're building, can be the largest investment that the county or community may have seen for years."

Verkleeren said Bedford is an appropriate place for a symbol of future energy independence, given its role in major events such as the American Revolution.

"I think Bedford Countians will embrace the project and ultimately look at it as a substantial national asset," he said.

Verkleeren said the company has long-term leases with landowners and has been using the four data-collection towers atop the ridges since 2005 to ensure the viability of wind there.

He said the next step is making sure the local electric grid can sustain the project. Then the company will move on to engineering, permitting and preconstruction details.

Environmental assessments on migrating birds and bat populations are under way, as is a wildlife habitat assessment for endangered species such as timber rattlesnakes.

EXISTING FARMS

-- Allegheny Ridge Wind Farm in Portage and Washington townships, Cambria County, and Juniata and Greenfield townships, Blair County

-- North Allegheny Wind Farm, Juniata Township, Blair County, and Cresson, Portage and Washington townships, Cambria County

PROPOSED FARMS

-- Sandy Ridge Wind Farm, Snyder Township, Blair County, and Taylor Township, Centre County

-- Chestnut Flats Wind Farm, Logan Township, Blair County

-- Shaffer Mountain Wind Farm, Shade and Ogle townships, Somerset


Source: http://www.altoonamirror.co...

MAR 31 2009
http://www.windaction.org/posts/19643-wind-project-blows-near
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