Articles from Maryland

Wind turbines: 15 jobs, five votes and a forever altered landmark

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.
22 Jan 2010

Baltimore County planners consider wind turbine proposal

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.
21 Jan 2010

Turbines generate criticism, rationale

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.
12 Jan 2010

Public Service Commission approves Mineral County wind project

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.
12 Jan 2010

Pinnacle wind project's PSC deadline Monday

The West Virginia Public Service Commission is scheduled to issue a decision in the next few days on a wind energy developer's application to build wind turbines in Mineral County. The deadline for the decision is Monday, but it could come as soon as the end of this week, according to commission spokeswoman Sarah Robertson.
8 Jan 2010

Air comments on wind turbine legislation at Jan. 7 hearing

Members of Team Smart, which stands for the group Support More Alternative Renewable Technology that formed a year ago to study the wind turbine issue in Baltimore County, will join other speakers at the Planning Board's public meeting at 5 p.m. in Towson. Key components of the Board's proposed legislation allow turbines on lots of 1 acre or more.
5 Jan 2010

The real deal on renewable energy

In any reasonable calculus, the state should insist that electricity be reliable, affordable to all, and secure. Moreover, it should aim to replace aging electricity infrastructure with systems that produce high levels of capacity value. And it should seek to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in electricity production. So-called "renewables" like wind and solar are inimical to all these goals.
18 Dec 2009

Financing, tax credits will determine if Maryland's energy future is blowin' in the wind

If things go as planned, Delaware could be the first state in the U.S. to develop an offshore wind farm. NRG Bluewater Wind estimates it will take two years to obtain necessary permits ...Funding also may impact the project's timeline. Delaware's 200-megawatt offshore wind farm is estimated to cost $1.2 billion. Renewal of a federal tax credit for wind projects and approval of an application for a federal loan guarantee will be key, executives say.
18 Dec 2009

Great Questions...

This ruling also puts the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, an agency whose mission includes the protection of endangered species, in an awkward position. Current Maryland law exempts any industrial wind plant project from a comprehensive environmental review process if its generating capacity is limited to 70MW or less. This exemption was passed two years ago after being pushed by Wayne Rogers, a well-connected entrepreneur who has been a generous donor to Democratic campaigns across the state and the country, is a former state Democratic Party chairman, served as chairman of Governor O'Malley's Energy Transition Team, and just happens to be president of Synergics LLC, the company that will build one of the two approved projects in Garrett County.
17 Dec 2009

Bat ruling casts shadow on MD wind projects?

A Maryland federal court ruling last week put a severe crimp in an industrial-scale wind project in West Virginia. Could it do the same for smaller projects planned in western Maryland? ...Invenergy issued a statement after the Dec. 8 ruling saying it would seek such a permit, according to The New York Times. In the meantime the judge said the turbines already up could only be operated in winter, when the bats are likely to be hibernating.
14 Dec 2009

Md. to buy wind and solar power from 4 projects

State officials announced plans Tuesday to fill nearly a quarter of the government's annual electricity needs with power supplied by clean energy projects from the Delaware coast to the Appalachian ridge tops. The state will sign 20-year purchase agreements with four wind and solar developers, demonstrating Maryland's commitment to reduce its carbon footprint by 25 percent by 2020, Gov. Martin O'Malley said.
8 Dec 2009

Wind farm claims are fuzzy math

I think your readers would be interested in knowing what wasn't said about Constellation Energy's agreement to purchase the Criterion wind project of Clipper Windpower, Inc. ("Wind, solar, 'farms' slated for 2 counties, Dec. 1). ...What the industry is not telling you is that to realize that scenario the wind would have to be blowing and capable of producing 50 percent their of their maximum output thoughout the year.
3 Dec 2009

Military's worries tangle plans for offshore wind farm

Gov. Martin O'Malley's desire to build offshore wind turbines as part of Maryland's renewable energy program is running into an unexpected source of resistance: the military. The fear is that turbines placed in the Atlantic Ocean could disrupt flight and weapon test ranges, as well as erroneously appear on radar as unidentifiable aircraft, which could trigger false alarms in an era of high terrorism alerts, military officials said.
3 Dec 2009

Garrett, Charles to get wind, solar power plants

Baltimore-based Constellation said it has agreed to acquire the $140 million Criterion wind project from Clipper Windpower Inc., which had proposed putting 28 tall turbines atop Backbone Mountain near Oakland. It was the first of three commercial-scale wind projects to win state approval under a 2007 law meant to promote wind energy development in Maryland. Meanwhile, CPV Renewable Energy Co., with headquarters in Silver Spring, plans a 10-megawatt "solar farm" near Waldorf, to be built alongside an already proposed natural gas-burning power plant.
1 Dec 2009

Military wary of offshore wind energy development

The O'Malley administration's desire to build offshore wind turbines as part of its renewable energy program is running into an unlikely source of resistance: the military. The fear is that turbines placed in the Atlantic Ocean could disrupt flight and weapon test ranges ..."When you start to place turbines out in the Atlantic Ocean, they will create an artificial image on the radar, and we might not be able to see aircraft because we think the aircraft is really the turbine spinning around out there," said Todd Morgan, president of the Southern Maryland Navy Alliance.
20 Nov 2009

Boundary commission says surveyor's line is correct

The commission was appointed by West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin, at the request of the Pocahontas County Commission. The PCC questioned the border after surveyor Jeff Hiner of Monterey marked the border more closely than the established U.S. Geological Survey line. Hiner had been hired by Highland New Wind Development LLC to survey property owned by the McBride family, which is erecting a 38-megawatt wind energy utility in Highland County, Va. When Pocahontas learned of the new survey, officials were concerned about the accuracy of the border, since at least one of the turbines was within a few feet of the state line.
19 Nov 2009

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