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Wind energy bad for W.Va., Allegheny Front Alliance claims

Though the Mineral County commissioners heard from US Windforce on the Pinnacle project on Green Mountain last month, the Allegheny Front Alliance got the chance Tuesday to try to refute some of the wind developer's claims. The group's nearly hour-long presentation included sentiments that the energy provided by the project was not needed in West Virginia, but in the other states on the PJM grid.

KEYSER W.Va. - Though the Mineral County commissioners heard from US Windforce on the Pinnacle project on Green Mountain last month, the Allegheny Front Alliance got the chance Tuesday to try to refute some of the wind developer's claims.

The group's nearly hour-long presentation included sentiments that the energy provided by the project was not needed in West Virginia, but in the other states on the PJM grid.

"From the 2008 load forecast, this has actually decreased from 2009 because the ways people are using energy are changing," Pamela Dodds, who has a doctorate in geology and hydrogeology, said. "Seventy percent (of energy produced in West Virginia) goes out of state."

She spoke on behalf of the AFA at the commission meeting, saying that much of the claims on the reliability and the need for wind energy were over-exaggerated or did not apply to West Virginia. She said that while everyone is connected through the same grid, much of the state's energy is actually exported to other areas, particularly through Virginia's Dominion Power.

Wind turbines, she added, are not consistent energy sources because the wind does not blow constantly.

She said damage to the wildlife population was in... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

KEYSER W.Va. - Though the Mineral County commissioners heard from US Windforce on the Pinnacle project on Green Mountain last month, the Allegheny Front Alliance got the chance Tuesday to try to refute some of the wind developer's claims.

The group's nearly hour-long presentation included sentiments that the energy provided by the project was not needed in West Virginia, but in the other states on the PJM grid.

"From the 2008 load forecast, this has actually decreased from 2009 because the ways people are using energy are changing," Pamela Dodds, who has a doctorate in geology and hydrogeology, said. "Seventy percent (of energy produced in West Virginia) goes out of state."

She spoke on behalf of the AFA at the commission meeting, saying that much of the claims on the reliability and the need for wind energy were over-exaggerated or did not apply to West Virginia. She said that while everyone is connected through the same grid, much of the state's energy is actually exported to other areas, particularly through Virginia's Dominion Power.

Wind turbines, she added, are not consistent energy sources because the wind does not blow constantly.

She said damage to the wildlife population was in direct violation of state law. She said although there are laws in the state making it illegal to harm wildlife, constructing the wind turbines does exactly that.

She said her research showed the resulting bat and bird mortality from turbines has been estimated at 32 per megawatt produced per year, which would be about 1,766 with the 55 megawatt project.

Green Mountain also is along the Eastern Continental Hawk Flyway, Dodd said, the pathway in which raptors migrate.

There were also concerns about the decommissioning of the turbines and the amount of tax funding that the county would actually receive. These were similar questions to those brought up by the commissioners when meeting with US Windforce.

Judy O'Hara of the AFA said she had concerns with whether there would be funding for the turbines to be removed. Other companies, she said, have actually stated that sometimes it is more cost-effective to just leave the turbines up, rather than tearing them down at the end of their lifespan.

Because much of these issues are dealt with in the leases with the property owners, she said, they will not be public information and the general public will have no idea what will be decided in terms of escrow accounts to cover the cost of decommissioning. Escrow accounts are not something required by the PSC, she said.

She said US Windforce would not be the company actually constructing or operating the project once completed and would be selling it, likely to Edison Mission Group. This was a concern for O'Hara as to whether the second company would have the same standards as US Windforce.

"We don't know what this promise is or if the other company will uphold the deal," she said. "I encourage the community to get involved."


Source: http://www.times-news.com/l...

JUL 15 2009
http://www.windaction.org/posts/21192-wind-energy-bad-for-w-va-allegheny-front-alliance-claims
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