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Lewes considers turbine regulations

In response to concerns that area residents may start erecting their own wind turbines within city limits, officials are considering a moratorium on the installation of such structures. According to officials, the ban could last a year or more as officials attempt to adopt regulations. Mayor Jim Ford said the city's building codes do not currently contain language pertaining to wind turbines.

LEWES -- In response to concerns that area residents may start erecting their own wind turbines within city limits, officials are considering a moratorium on the installation of such structures.

According to officials, the ban could last a year or more as officials attempt to adopt regulations. Mayor Jim Ford said the city's building codes do not currently contain language pertaining to wind turbines.

"With the (University of Delaware's) wind turbine going up soon, the thinking was that people in the community might want to have their own," he said. "We don't know what that would do."

UD's College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment announced plans last year to erect a 2-megawatt turbine to power its Lewes campus this summer.

City administrators said, outside of UD, no one has come forward requesting permission to build a wind turbine.

But the national economic downturn and rising energy costs have increased the demand for alternative power sources, said Greg Menoche, who installed a wind turbine at his Dagsboro home last year.

"More and more people are going toward wind power because of the cost relief," he said. "It's an investment at first, but it pays for itself after only about five... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

LEWES -- In response to concerns that area residents may start erecting their own wind turbines within city limits, officials are considering a moratorium on the installation of such structures.

According to officials, the ban could last a year or more as officials attempt to adopt regulations. Mayor Jim Ford said the city's building codes do not currently contain language pertaining to wind turbines.

"With the (University of Delaware's) wind turbine going up soon, the thinking was that people in the community might want to have their own," he said. "We don't know what that would do."

UD's College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment announced plans last year to erect a 2-megawatt turbine to power its Lewes campus this summer.

City administrators said, outside of UD, no one has come forward requesting permission to build a wind turbine.

But the national economic downturn and rising energy costs have increased the demand for alternative power sources, said Greg Menoche, who installed a wind turbine at his Dagsboro home last year.

"More and more people are going toward wind power because of the cost relief," he said. "It's an investment at first, but it pays for itself after only about five years."

Menoche has cut his energy costs by more than 40 percent on average, he said.

According to Delaware Renewable Energy Company, an alternative energy generator retailer, a wind turbine or solar energy system can add $20,000 per unit to the value of a home.

Councilman Ted Becker said the city needs to develop regulations for turbines to ensure they do not clash with current zoning codes or negatively affect the aesthetic value or aviation population of Lewes.

"I think it's the same with anything; you need to see what it will do to the city," he said. "I know our residents want to be green, but you have to be careful first."

City officials are slated to consider the moratorium and begin drafting zoning language for wind turbines at their next meeting, which has not yet been scheduled.


Source: http://www.delmarvanow.com/...

APR 21 2010
http://www.windaction.org/posts/25813-lewes-considers-turbine-regulations
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