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Lewes council mulls wind turbine moratorium; Ban could be adopted May 10

The City of Lewes might place a one-year ban on the construction of wind turbines while city council devises a policy to govern them. Mayor Jim Ford said the installation of a research turbine at the University of Delaware's (UD's) College of Earth, Ocean and Environment made apparent the need for a formal stance regarding residential, commercial and light-industrial turbines.

The City of Lewes might place a one-year ban on the construction of wind turbines while city council devises a policy to govern them.

Mayor Jim Ford said the installation of a research turbine at the University of Delaware's (UD's) College of Earth, Ocean and Environment made apparent the need for a formal stance regarding residential, commercial and light-industrial turbines.

"The fact that the UD turbine is going to be installed soon has triggered some interest, and some questions have been raised," he said. "How's it going to impact the surrounding area? If you had a series of these set up, would it affect the wind?"

Until council can get informed answers from the university's research, Ford said it should block construction of windmills.

Jim Richmann, a candidate for the Board of Public Works (BPW), says a moratorium would allow the city's utility providers to investigate the possibility of integrating alternative energy into its rate schedule.

"The city doesn't really have a rate structure such that it could recover the cost of its infrastructure if a homeowner is using a windmill," he said. Even if the city works alternative energy into its rates, Richmann said he... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

The City of Lewes might place a one-year ban on the construction of wind turbines while city council devises a policy to govern them.

Mayor Jim Ford said the installation of a research turbine at the University of Delaware's (UD's) College of Earth, Ocean and Environment made apparent the need for a formal stance regarding residential, commercial and light-industrial turbines.

"The fact that the UD turbine is going to be installed soon has triggered some interest, and some questions have been raised," he said. "How's it going to impact the surrounding area? If you had a series of these set up, would it affect the wind?"

Until council can get informed answers from the university's research, Ford said it should block construction of windmills.

Jim Richmann, a candidate for the Board of Public Works (BPW), says a moratorium would allow the city's utility providers to investigate the possibility of integrating alternative energy into its rate schedule.

"The city doesn't really have a rate structure such that it could recover the cost of its infrastructure if a homeowner is using a windmill," he said. Even if the city works alternative energy into its rates, Richmann said he doubts small turbines would be efficient generators.

"They're so affected by turbulence that the operating efficiency of the machine is low," Richmann said. "They're a real loser from the standpoint of the homeowner. We are in effect protecting homeowners from themselves."

Pilottown Village resident Joe Hoechner said the BPW might resist residential windmills because they fear a loss of revenue.

"Not that they're running scared, but I'm afraid once the moratorium is imposed, the BPW will prevail upon the city to extend it and extend it," he said.

If the city imposes a moratorium, Hoechner said, it should limit the ban to the historic district. He said Lewes' suburban neighborhoods should be allowed to independently investigate the feasibility of individual turbines or communal wind farms.

Richmann said he's reserving his final opinion until he sees the data produced by the university's turbine. "If their windmill works out, I'm going to be an advocate for a similar-sized windmill for the city," he said. Ford said council could vote on the moratorium at its Monday, May 10 meeting.


Source: http://www.capegazette.com/...

APR 22 2010
http://www.windaction.org/posts/25899-lewes-council-mulls-wind-turbine-moratorium-ban-could-be-adopted-may-10
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