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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 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.
Republicans in the General Assembly and some business groups, including the Maryland Retailers Association opposed the legislation, saying the utility surcharges would put much of the burden of paying for the alternative energy on the backs of consumers and small-business owners.
The measure sidestepped eight amendments proposed by House Republicans, aiming to restrict the project's cost on the state and taxpayers. Republican Delegate Patrick McDonough of Baltimore and Harford counties noted that the offshore wind bill, if successful, would fail to meet the state's energy needs.
O'Malley acknowledged that he is now less optimistic that offshore wind development could begin as quickly as he hoped. The governor also said that, given the apparent need for the industry to develop big projects that can gain cost advantages with size, he was no longer certain any state on its own could succeed in spurring development of offshore wind energy.
New Dimension Energy Company LLC, a subsidiary of FloDesign Wind Turbine Corporation, recently filed an application for a meteorological tower permit in Garrett County. The company hopes to build nine wind turbines ...Two of the wind turbines were denied Federal Aviation Administration approval for determination of no hazard to air navigation.
The governor's proposal would have added $2 - later amended down to $1.50 in the House committee - to each residential customer's monthly bill, and tacked on a 2.5 percent fee to large commercial customers, in order to subsidize a wind farm off the coast of Ocean City.
A majority of the Frostburg Road residents in attendance at the Synergics Wind Energy LLC meeting on Tuesday were opposed to the proposed Fourmile Ridge Wind Energy Project, according to resident Jim McCann.
"My clients believe it would have a catastrophic environmental effect to bring a power line across that island, even if it's bored underneath," he said. "Leave Assateague alone. It's one of the few pristine places left on the East Coast. I just can't imagine putting a big transformer on there."
After three motions, Garrett County commissioners came to an impasse in regard to a decision on how to proceed with the public process of a draft land use management ordinance, a portion of which deals with wind turbine setbacks.
Somerset County Commissioners plan to make revisions to a controversial industrial wind energy ordinance, including increasing the setback from neighboring residential properties. The commissioners also will meet with Steve Smethurst, the attorney for a group of Marion Station opponents, during a work session this week.
Greater setback requirements were called "key" to offsetting potential problems from wind turbines as Somerset County Commissioners heard from residents on both sides of the issue during a work session.
Dan's Mountain Windforce is asking the Maryland Public Service Commission to extend the deadline to begin building the wind farm to Sept. 12, 2013.
Despite broad public support and overwhelming support in one branch of the Legislature, Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley's Offshore Wind Energy Act once again died in the Senate on the last day of the legislative calendar.
There is nothing in this bill or in any other Maryland law or regulation that will guarantee or limit how much a ratepayer will have to pay extra for offshore wind-generated energy. If this bill is passed and if a developer succeeds in building an offshore wind farm, don't be surprised if the surcharge exceeds $1.50 in 2012 dollars.
During floor debate Thursday, the House adopted an amendment from House Minority Whip Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio (R-Dist. 37B) of Newcomb to exempt ratepayers who farm their land from paying the extra fee on the first 3,000 kilowatt hours of electricity they use in a month.
The Maryland House of Delegates Economic Matters Committee has advanced a bill that would give the Garrett County commissioners the authority to enact ordinances relating to setbacks and the decommissioning of wind turbines, according to a news release.
Two consulting firms that work for the BPU said that "net benefits of the project were not demonstrated" and "key underlying assumptions of applicants' cost-benefit analysis were not adequately substantiated." Both firms said Fishermen's Energy did not factor in the possible loss of jobs if customers switch from conventional power plants to hydropower.