Library from Maryland
In a vote Saturday afternoon vote, the Maryland Senate approved a measure, pushing the project back just over a year. Senators in support of the bill say the delay was to further study how the height of the turbines would impact radar testing used by the Patuxent River Naval Base.
Lawmakers delayed the construction in order to wait for a study of how wind turbines could affect radar use around the U.S. Naval Air Station Patuxent River base in southern Maryland. The study will take at least a year.
The Senate finance committee passed a bill Wednesday that would limit the height of wind turbines at varying distances from the U.S. Naval Air Station Patuxent River base in Southern Maryland.
Hoyer appeared at a state Senate Finance Committee hearing to speak in favor of a bill that would delay a proposed wind turbine project on farmland on Maryland's Eastern Shore, near the Chesapeake Bay. Hoyer led a parade of political and civic leaders expressing fears that the wind farm could impede critical radar testing across the bay at Patuxent River Naval Air Station -- and thus jeopardize the entire existence of the naval base, the economic driver for southern Maryland.
Speaking in support of a bill that would limit wind turbines within varying differences from the U.S. Naval Air Station Patuxent River base in Southern Maryland, the Minority Whip in the U.S. House of Representatives said limiting the height of turbines while a study is completed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology would be in the best interest of clean energy and Southern Maryland's economy.
Cohen told WBOC that his company will not move forward with their investment if the bill to delay the project is approved. He said it would "kill the project."
U.S. House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), whose district includes the Patuxent River naval base, has been a leading proponent of the state legislation, working behind the scenes to round up votes by arguing that the windmills' impact on the economic fortunes of the naval base and neighboring communities may be dire. Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) issued a statement to The Baltimore Sun over the weekend saying she, too, favors delay -- a potential blow to wind power advocates given her popularity throughout the state.
Two of the state's most powerful elected officials in Washington, Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski and Rep. Steny Hoyer, back the delay. Southern Maryland lawmakers say more time is needed to complete a study of whether there's a way to mitigate the impacts of spinning turbines on a sensitive radar system used at the naval air station in St. Mary's County. It tests the way aircraft appear to enemy radar.
“This is one of the greatest threats to performing our mission here at Pax and is a huge grading factor in BRAC rounds. We have to be ever mindful of all threats to this (Pax River) national asset,” he wrote. BRAC stands for base realignment and closure, a process that can close or move military operations from one base to another.
A bill that could allow hundreds of acres of preserved farmland to be converted to wind farms or other renewable energy projects was approved Monday by the House of Delegates, 97 to 33.
Legislation that would essentially kill a wind turbine project in Somerset County moved one step closer to becoming law Monday. The House of Delegates voted overwhelmingly to put height restrictions on wind turbines at varying distances from the Patuxent River Naval Air Station in Southern Maryland. Moving to the Senate side, environmental groups and opponents of the bill plan to meet with members of the Senate finance committee. Talks could also begin with the governor’s office.
If lands already under MALPF easements are permitted to be used for wind and land-consuming commercial solar energy development, the farmers who accepted payments for putting restrictive easements on their agricultural lands should be required to pay back that money to the State Program Open Space, which funded the MALPF easements.
On a 40-80 vote, the House defeated an amendment that would have weakened a bill to impose a 15-month delay on the construction of high turbines for the Eastern Shore project. Lawmakers from Southern Maryland -- across the Chesapeake Bay -- are concerned about how the wind facility would affect Patuxent Naval Air Station,
But most conservationists oppose the change. They warn that allowing any non-agricultural activity on land set aside for farming could undermine long-running efforts to preserve Maryland's best remaining farmland. Though the state has one of the most successful preservation programs in the country, only a fourth of all farmland is shielded from development pressures, they say.
House Bill 1168 would prevent the state from approving construction of wind turbines that exceed a range of heights within the Atlantic Test Range used by the Patuxent River Naval Air Station. If approved, the legislation would suspend construction of the 70 megawatt Great Bay wind project in Somerset County.
Still, the experiment has been plagued with problems from the start, from delivery delays and then assembly delays after a Saugus firm contracted to erect it last summer did not deliver on the service. And now comes the cracked rotor in the turbine’s generator box, believed to have occurred during tests last month.
Virginia company earlier won auction for project off the coast of its home state
Jeff Messenger of Messenger Limited Partnership, LLC temporarily withdrew his request to the Garrett County Planning Commission to amend the Deep Creek watershed zoning ordinance to allow a wind farm in the rural resource zoning district, according to Bill DeVore, zoning administrator. The public hearing on the amendment that was scheduled for March 5 has been canceled.
“Federal officials have already reported that this wind project has the highest per-turbine bird mortality ever estimated at a studied wind project in the United States and the highest per-turbine bird mortality ever documented in North America."
During a meeting Jan. 8, the planning commission voted unanimously to postpone the public hearing and rescheduleit for March 5 to allow the applicant more time to assemble information concerning the sound, wildlife impact and the appearance of the proposed wind turbines, according to minutes from the meeting. Planning commissioner Jeff Messenger recused himself from the vote as a landowner involved in the proposed project.