Articles from Maryland
Three pieces of legislation introduced by Delegate Wendell Beitzel to regulate the commercial wind energy industry in Garrett County and across the state were rejected by the House Economic Matters Committee.
Startled residents in the Eagle Rock area, some located within just 15 or 20 feet of the project, used words such as "shocked" and "horrified" when they were awakened by the sound of chainsaws, trucks, dozers, and massive excavating machines felling thousands of trees adjacent to their properties. Several acres of forestland timber were leveled within a matter of a few days. The project, however, came to an abrupt halt Tuesday after one of the residents - who happens to be a contractor -suggested that the work was being done in a manner that was not in compliance with state environmental law.
Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, as well as energy companies, agree that it's important to bring the renewable energy market to Maryland. But some say the high cost of renewable energy production, the inefficiency of some systems and even potential obstructions to national security might create problems down the road.
A Savage Mountain wind power project that never got off the ground will officially die on Saturday, when the facility's construction deadline passes. Despite a two-year extension granted in 2007, construction work never began on the proposed US Wind Force facility. After three years of construction delays, Vice President David Friend said that ultimately, the company couldn't secure an adequate power purchase agreement in a timely fashion.
A Frederick County delegate is proposing a state law to provide more oversight of overhead power lines. Delegate Sue Hecht recently introduced a bill to address concerns about liability and ownership of high-voltage transmission lines. Such a line is proposed to run through southern Frederick County and faces opposition from several community groups.
Industrial wind is perhaps the silliest modern energy idea imaginable. In the final analysis, it's a faith-based proposition, requiring people to close their minds and clap their hands to revive it from a life-and-death struggle against unbelief, bringing the technology back from the oblivion that the steam engine consigned it to hundreds of years ago. Throwing vast amounts of the public's treasure down the rathole of wind is to deny investment in infinitely more effective technologies -- such as nuclear -- that will preserve the energy requirements of modernity. It is incredibly irresponsible.
Wind power is gneerating an increasing amount of energy here in America--not all of it from those huge windmills seen dotting western states. Wind power is generating an increasing amount of energy here in America--not all of it from those huge windmills seen dotting western states. Now, as Mike Schuh reports, a Howard County official wants to bring smaller wind turbines here.
Regulations for small wind energy systems in Somerset County could get a bit of tweaking before adoption by Somerset County Commissioners, who questioned setbacks and other provisions during a public hearing. In particular, commissioners asked why there was a 20-foot setback requirement for wind turbines from a driveway on the same property.
Delegate Wendell Beitzel has submitted a bill that would require the development of general performance standards for commercial wind turbines across the state. Last year's solo effort failed to get out of the House Economic Matters Committee. This year, the bill already has 22 co-sponsors, including the influential Montgomery County Democrat.
A recent federal court decision has some Western Maryland wind farm critics pushing state and local officials for increased regulation. On Friday, a letter signed by the four members of the District 1 legislative delegation was sent to Maryland Attorney General Douglas Gansler, seeking a formal opinion on the responsibility of state agencies "as it relates to the protection of the state's endangered species."
As the Baltimore County Council prepares to consider new regulations for wind turbines in residential neighborhoods, at least one member is strongly opposed to the idea. The Planning Board voted unanimously recently to recommend allowing one wind turbine no taller than 60 feet per one-acre property. ...Council member T. Bryan McIntire said he had not reviewed the proposal, but he stood "adamantly opposed to the use of windmills in the north county."
Tazewell County officials say they will attempt to make a decision Feb. 2 on a controversial wind turbine farm for East River Mountain. However, they aren't guaranteeing at this point that the board will be able to reach a consensus decision on the proposed ridgeline construction ordinance at the Feb. 2 meeting.
Members of the Tazewell County Board of Supervisors are considering a ridge line ordinance that would restrict the development of tall structures along certain protected ridge lines, including Burkes Garden and East River Mountain. Local aviators who use airplanes for business travel say they are concerned that the proposed wind farm could inhibit plans to create a second flight path for landing at the Mercer County Airport.
After being immersed in the windmill debate via our newspaper for more than a year - and openly looking at the issue from both sides - I personally do not support the project. But it's not my call to make - it is a decision that should be decided by the residents of Tazewell County. At the public hearing on the project, 71 individuals spoke in favor of the ridgeline ordinance, while 18 spoke against it. That's an overwhelming anti-windmill majority.
The proposal gives permission by right -- that is, without special permission from the county -- to install one wind turbine up to 60-feet tall per property, provided the property is at least one acre and in a residential area only. The energy generated would be only for the homeowner's use and could not be sold into an electricity grid.
The West Virginia Public Service Commission on Monday approved a permit to allow up to 23 wind turbines to be built atop a 3.5-mile stretch of Green Mountain in Mineral County, a few miles west of Keyser. Pinnacle Wind Force, a subsidiary of Greensburg, Pa.-based US Wind Force, filed the permit application on March 17, but the project has been in development since 2002.
A former state senator believes the current District 1 legislative delegation is abdicating its constitutional responsibility by failing to "understand the notion of separation of powers and the role of a legislative body as an independent branch of government." At issue is the delegation's decision last week to put on hold a request by John Bambacus of Frostburg for legislation that would have codified Gov. Martin O'Malley's prohibition of commercial wind turbines in Maryland's state forests and parks.
The Public Service Commission approved plans today for a 23-turbine wind farm in West Virginia's Eastern Panhandle, citing the hundreds of jobs and more than $1 million in state and county tax revenue it could generate. The decision on the Pinnacle Wind Farm at NewPage in Mineral County came on the last day of the agency's 300-day review period.
The future of Baltimore County's zoning regulations for wind turbines remains up in the air after the county's Planning Board heard differing opinions on just about every aspect of proposed regulations from 30 speakers at a Jan. 7 public meeting.
Wellfleet residents would be making a big mistake if they backed the proposed 400-foot wind turbine in the White Crest Beach area. There are simply too many instances of towns regretting decisions to fast track plans to be in the forefront of the green energy movement.