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Wind farms

With wind farm development continuing to become somewhat of a household word along the eastern ridges of West Virginia, it’s imperative for Gov. Joe Manchin’s newly established Public Energy Authority to become familiar with the issues as quickly as possible.

With wind farm development continuing to become somewhat of a household word along the eastern ridges of West Virginia, it’s imperative for Gov. Joe Manchin’s newly established Public Energy Authority to become familiar with the issues as quickly as possible.

Manchin’s idea when forming the PEA was for the group to be focused on coal and coal conversion opportunities. We agree with his intent and it is the wave of the future for fossil fuel energy.

However, wind farms are beginning to pop up on ridges throughout the country, and now in Greenbrier County, with the West Virginia Public Service Commission’s recent blessing, more than 100 windmills, or wind turbines as they are called, are on track for construction.

We are clearly in favor of new, clean energy alternatives — this country certainly needs it — and on the surface, the concept of wind farms doesn’t appear to be a bad one. But given the relatively low number of customers that can be served (approximately 50,000) by the planned Beech Ridge project and others like it, are we going to see windmills dotting every remaining mountaintop?
These are all issues the PEA will need to stay on top of for the next several... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

With wind farm development continuing to become somewhat of a household word along the eastern ridges of West Virginia, it’s imperative for Gov. Joe Manchin’s newly established Public Energy Authority to become familiar with the issues as quickly as possible.

Manchin’s idea when forming the PEA was for the group to be focused on coal and coal conversion opportunities. We agree with his intent and it is the wave of the future for fossil fuel energy.

However, wind farms are beginning to pop up on ridges throughout the country, and now in Greenbrier County, with the West Virginia Public Service Commission’s recent blessing, more than 100 windmills, or wind turbines as they are called, are on track for construction.

We are clearly in favor of new, clean energy alternatives — this country certainly needs it — and on the surface, the concept of wind farms doesn’t appear to be a bad one. But given the relatively low number of customers that can be served (approximately 50,000) by the planned Beech Ridge project and others like it, are we going to see windmills dotting every remaining mountaintop?
These are all issues the PEA will need to stay on top of for the next several years because it’s not going to be all about coal.

Earlier this week Manchin’s spokeswoman, Lara Ramsburg, acknowledged that wind farms are a priority and the PEA will be delving into the entire picture. We feel confident the PEA will do just that because the state’s chief executive showed earlier this year that he wants to maintain a grip on wind farms as companies appear to be rushing in to West Virginia to set up shop.

Just a few months ago, Manchin, in fact, asked the Legislature to impose a temporary moratorium on wind farm projects until more background work could be done to determine their value, effectiveness and impact on both the economy and environment. But lawmakers didn’t side with him, and in our opinion, that was a mistake.

We aren’t bashing windmills. We realize they are going to be a part of America’s energy plans for generations to come.

But we would just like to see sufficient data and appropriate regulations and taxes put into place before the floodgates are opened any wider.


 


Source: http://www.register-herald....

SEP 7 2006
http://www.windaction.org/posts/4401-wind-farms
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