CUMBERLAND — Dans Mountain Windforce LLC has filed for a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity with the Maryland Public Service Commission which, if approved, would allow the company to construct a 17-turbine wind farm on Dan's Mountain.
"Dans Mountain is filing this application for a CPCN from the commission specifically because a CPCN would preempt local Allegany County land use ordinances, which would otherwise prohibit not only this project, but any similar renewable wind energy project proposed in Allegany County," says the company in its application to the PSC.
In December, the Allegany County Board of of Zoning appeals denied an application for variances and a special exception for the project.
"We find that the applicant failed to meet its burden of proof in this matter (of a variance to setback and separation distance) and that this request for variance must be denied," according to the board's decision.
Dan's requested that the board allow a variance to the separation distance for eight residents and a variance for setback requirements at two locations. County code requires that wind turbines have a minimum separation distance of 2,000 feet from any residential structure and 955 feet setback from the property line.
Dans Mountain is also requesting that the PSC waive a two-year notice requirement to allow construction to commence in the fall.
"A two-year notice requirement is unnecessary when, as here, the commission has already reviewed the project and granted a CPCN exemption," says the company in its the PSC application. "The project will have minimal environmental impact, provide economic benefits to the state and will have an important, positive impact on the stability and reliability of the electrical system."
Dans Mountain Wind Force had already invested more than $5 million in the project.
A pre-hearing on the exemption has been set before the commission on March 3.