Articles from Maryland
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Public Service Commission conditionally approved a wind energy project in Garrett County Wednesday, the third expedited application it has moved forward. Synergics Roth Rock Wind Energy LLC and Synergics Wind Energy LLC plan to build a 20-turbine facility on Backbone Mountain, generating 50 megawatts of power.
Perhaps some will remember that FSU received a much ballyhooed Maryland grant to study the performance of a wind and solar apparatus built several years ago on the campus. But where is the data showing how this project fared over the last 18 months? How much fuel did the campus save? What were the annual capacity factors? How much energy did the systems provide at peak demand times? Such data and more should have been presented so that the public would know how this equipment really performed. Now, thanks to the nation's taxpayers - the source of the DOE grant - here we go again, onward and upward in the name of energy du jour.
A controversial wind farm project in Mineral County goes before the state Public Service Commission starting Monday. The PSC will hear evidence from Pinnacle Wind Force, the group hoping to build 23 wind turbines on top of Green Mountain near Mt. Storm.
A proposed West Virginia wind power project will harm a tiny, endangered bat and its developers should be should be required to obtain permits under the Endangered Species Act, attorneys for two environmental groups argued Wednesday in federal court. The developers admit bats will be killed by the turbines, but refuse to acknowledge the endangered Indiana bat will be among them, plaintiffs attorney Eric Glitzenstein argued in his opening statements.
The 124-turbine wind farm being built by Rockville-based Beech Ridge Energy would put the lives of endangered Indiana bats, and other bat species, in danger, according to the plaintiffs -- The Animal Welfare Institute, Mountain Communities for Responsible Energy and David G. Cowan. Plaintiff's witness Michael Gannon, a bat biologist and professor at Pennsylvania State University, said he is "very much in favor" of wind energy, but remains concerned that this project could have a devastating effect on the Indiana bat.
Several additional companies have inquired about the possibility of building windmills in Tazewell County, officials confirmed Monday. Although Dominion and BP Wind Energy North America are planning a large-scale wind turbine farm for East River Mountain near Bluefield, other areas of interest for other wind energy companies have included Morris Knob, near Tazewell, and Burkes Garden, according to Board of Supervisors Chairman David Anderson.
Garrett County residents told the Maryland Public Service Commission Wednesday that a proposed wind farm would be noisy, ineffective and potentially put them in danger. Representatives for Synergics Wind Energy, the developers of the proposed 24-turbine wind farm in Garrett County, said the project would provide clean energy and be completely safe. The commission is expected to rule on the project in the near future.
Homeowners who live near the site of proposed Western Maryland wind farm brought their case before utility regulators Wednesday, saying the impact on their safety has not been adequately considered. ''This commission is our last and only hope our government will protect us,'' said homeowner Victor Fickes. Synergics Wind Energy wants to build a 50-megawatt wind energy farm atop Backbone Mountain near Oakland in Garrett County.
The Mineral County Commission moved Tuesday to go on record in support of the proposed Pinnacle Wind Farm. The support, however, is not unanimous. After going into executive session to discuss "legal matters," which they later said related to the proposed contract in which WindForce will agree to commit itself to a "floor" for tax revenue to be generated by the project, two of the commissioners said they felt it was time for the county to commit to a position.
Delmarva Power's four power purchase agreements with wind developers should begin paying dividends by the end of the year, with the first clean-energy electrons flowing to the state later this fall. One land-based wind farm under contract to the local utility could start sending electricity to Delaware by year's end, and another in western Maryland could get its permit soon despite concerns the turbines could harm endangered species. That project has an easier path to approval thanks to a controversial new law that exempts smaller wind farm projects from an extensive environmental vetting.
Light breezes and low elevations make Baltimore County uninviting territory for big wind farms, but the terrain could be more promising for residents hoping to trim electric bills and their "carbon footprint" with a home turbine. The outlook could hinge on deliberations going on now, as the county revises the zoning code to cover such projects. Meanwhile, one homeowner's plan for the county's first electricity-generating wind turbine remains on hold as neighbors who say they support alternative energy have lined up against it.