Library from Maryland
Developing and implementing a habitat conservation plan is a requirement for obtaining an incidental take permit under the Endangered Species Act. Without such a permit, it is illegal to harm or kill federally threatened and endangered species. The plan and permit allow for projects that potentially impact threatened or endangered species to continue while the company takes actions to avoid, minimize and mitigate for the impacts.
Exelon Generation, which owns and operates the 28-turbine Criterion wind project built in 2010 in Garrett County, has pledged to "feather" or reduce the rotation speed of its turbines' blades during nighttime from late summer to early fall, peak bat migration time.
Andy Bowman, president of Pioneer Green Energy, who will develop the turbine project, said there may be negative impacts. ...“There will be some loss of life,” he said, in regards to birds that may be killed from the spinning turbines, but stressed Pioneer Green had looked at the environmental impacts when considering the project.
Wind turbines could start popping up in Somerset County as early as next year; however, it all depends on how fast developers behind the green project get what's called an eagle-taking permit for the proposed wind farm in Westover.
Ryan Taylor, a bioacoustics expert in Salisbury, said residents could suffer from what experts have termed “wind turbine syndrome,” which includes bouts of dizziness and extensive fatigue. “They (turbines) will be quite noisy; low-frequency sounds can penetrate houses and cause long-term sleep disturbance,” Taylor said.
While FWS initially predicted the project could kill up to 43 eagles per year, the project has been reduced in size from 60 turbines to 25 turbines and has been set back from prime eagle habitat. ...A rough estimate based on 2012 nest data suggests there are about 30 nests within 10 miles of the Great Bay project, FWS said.
Governor Martin O’Malley’s aggressive green agenda has favored expensive renewable-energy sources, driving up the cost of electricity. The 784,000 Marylanders who are living in poverty, and many more on the brink of it, have been particularly hard hit, even though sometimes the cost is offset by subsidies. Since O’Malley assumed office in January 2007, residents’ electricity rates have increased by 43 percent.
The PSC approved the construction of the Type III generators based on Fair Wind Power Partners compliance with all state and federal laws ...Several residents voiced concerns that the wind project would just be an extension of the Criterion Wind project, which is the deadliest industrial wind project in North America for bats and birds.
Messenger Limited Partnership has requested the Garrett County Planning Commission to amend the Deep Creek watershed zoning ordinance to allow a wind farm in the rural resource zoning district. Wind turbines are prohibited in all zones of the watershed and the amendment would permit them in the rural resource zone only with the condition that the turbines would be 20,000 feet from the high waterline of Deep Creek Lake, according to Bob Paye, an attorney at Geppert, McMullen, Paye & Getty, P.C.
The Maryland Public Service Commission has received multiple emails in opposition to Fair Wind Power Partners LLC’s application to construct up to 15 wind turbines on Backbone Mountain. A majority of the emails indicate that the wind project would just be an extension of the Criterion Wind project, which is the deadliest industrial wind project in North America for bats and birds.
Before wind turbines can be fully operational, the permits division has to issue a variety of additional permits, such as a grading permit, which can take up to a year, a building permit and certificate of use for each wind turbine. The project is slated to start significant construction activities in early 2014 and the company hopes to begin commercial operation by the end of the year,
There can be no clearer example of the risk faced by the neighbors of the proposed Dan's Mountain wind project than what is actually happening just a few miles away at the Pinnacle project, which was developed by the very same individuals responsible for Dan's Mountain. If there is any doubt about the risk, perhaps Maryland citizens could speak with their West Virginia neighbors.
Satisfied that state wildlife managers had no additional concerns about potential impacts upon fauna, the Maryland Public Service Commission on Wednesday said Dan's Mountain Wind Force LLC could take until Dec. 31, 2014, to start building turbines there.
The provision of the bill that was deemed unconstitutional deals with an adjoining property owner's consent to a variance for a wind turbine setback requirement, according to the letter. ...By requiring the consent of all adjoining property owners prior to applying for the variance, the bill has given neighboring property owners the power to determine whether or not a variance from setback requirements for wind turbines would be detrimental to the public health and welfare.
The proposed Fourmile Ridge wind project in eastern Garrett County has gone beyond the 60-day appeal process for the Federal Aviation Administration's interim decision in February that all 24 proposed wind turbines are presumed to be a hazard to air navigation.
The agency estimated that the original plan to put up 60 turbines east of Princess Anne could kill up to 43 eagles a year. The developer's experts disputed that, projecting deaths of 15 to 18 birds annually, but the agency said even that lower rate would result in more eagle deaths than any other wind project proposed nationwide. ...Biologists don't know how big a buffer is needed for bald eagles, which can roam over thousands of acres to find food.
The project is also awaiting Federal Aviation Administration approval because there was an issue with the Grantsville VOR/DME system. ...With Garrett County as an ideal spot for wind turbines, all of the projects will and do affect the safety and economic outlook of the Garrett County Airport, said Kelley in a letter to Melinda George of the FAA.
The Maryland Public Service Commission is recommending that Fourmile Wind Energy LLC's request of a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity waiver application be granted. However, it has placed conditions on the Fourmile Ridge wind project, according to a letter to David Collins, executive PSC secretary, from PSC Office of Staff Counsel.
Twenty bald eagles a year could be killed by the spinning blades a company wants to build in Somerset County to harness the power of wind for cheap energy, federal wildlife officials say. That's too much for Delmarva's eagle population to bear, said Sarah Nystrom, the Northeast region's bald and golden eagle coordinator for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Although the turbine is expected to generate more than enough electricity to power the sewer plant, it must still connect to the grid since the plant needs a consistent source of electricity, and the turbine's output could fluctuate depending on how windy it is, officials have said. The city also can sell the excess electricity back to the grid.