Paint Township is looking to join a list of area communities that regulate wind farms.
Given the fact an Illinois-based energy company is studying the idea of adding windmills in the township next door, it makes sense for the township to be prepared for the possibility, too, township Chairman Lewis Clark II said.
“We’ve got our solicitor, Dennis Stofko, reviewing other community wind ordinances right now, and he’s hopefully going to have something for us to consider in a month or so,” Clark said.
Clark said setbacks, height restrictions and other guidelines are all being explored but it’s too soon to speculate what the township might settle on.
But supervisors asked Stofko to research both commercial windmills – the mammoth turbines line some of Cambria and Somerset counties ridgetops – and residential ones. And separate restrictions will likely be outlined for both, Clark said, noting that small backyard turbines have become popular in some areas.
Wind power projects are on an upward trend again in some parts of the country, including northern Somerset County.
Chicago-based Invenergy built 300-foot-tall meteorological towers on Shaffer Mountain late last fall to monitor wind speeds and other weather characteristics in Shade and Ogle Townships.
Both of those communities have wind ordinances that require companies to submit plans to township officials for review before a permit would be issued.
Clark said he’s heard no indication whatsoever that any companies are planning to build a wind farm in Paint Township but the rural area could one day be eyed for one. “
We just want to be proactive here,” he said.