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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.
Nearly 100 people attended West Virginia Public Service Commission's hearing on the Pinnacle Wind Farm, Thursday afternoon at the Mineral County Courthouse, with all but one of more than two dozen speakers backing the project for its economic impact, clean energy and even visual appeal. ...The deadline for a decision on the project is Jan. 11. If approved, WindForce officials hope to have the wind farm operational by the end of 2010.
The Maryland Energy Administration is soliciting interest in building wind energy farms off of the state's coast. The agency is reaching out to offshore wind developers for help in planning such a project. According to the U.S. Energy Department, the state's potential for wind power development offshore rivals that of the Midwestern U.S - conditions along the coasts are well-suited to generate wind energy, officials say.
US WindForce will conduct the regular month meeting of its Community Advisory Panel Thursday night at the WindLea Banquet Center, with a state energy official to address the group on the eve of the West Virginia Public Service Commission's hearing on the proposed 23-turbine wind farm. Bill Willis, a program coordinator with the West Virginia Division of Energy, will be the guest speaker for the meeting.
Nine people interested in municipal wind turbines spoke from the audience for more than an hour at Thursday's Frostburg mayor and council meeting, most of whom praised an ordinance that, if passed, will permit the power generators. "You have given us a lot of food for thought," Councilman Richard Weimer told those who spoke. "We have our work cut out for us. We have heard a lot of valid concerns here."
BETHANY BEACH - A project that could involve the town in the Bluewater Wind offshore wind farm project has been proposed, and officials and residents are looking at possible plans with careful eyes.
With support for the proposed Pinnacle Wind Farm growing - at least as measured by the volume of letters sent to the West Virginia Public Service Commission - the PSC has established the time and place for the fall hearing on the proposed 23-turbine wind farm just west of Keyser.
The renewal of an easement on county property will help Clipper Windpower's subsidiary, Criterion Power Partners, proceed with financing on its project on Backbone Mountain. "The commissioners agreed to extend the easement," Monty Pagenhardt, Garrett County administrator, said. "(The wind developers) are at a point where they are finally trying to get the financing.
As the Pinnacle wind farm project continues with the state Public Service Commission process, so do plans for the Community Benefits Fund, a $50,000 annual contribution from US Wind Force to the community for the lifetime of the project.
Finally face-to-face, the Mineral County Commissioners questioned representatives of U.S. Wind Force Tuesday evening, sticking to the topics that would directly affect the county and its residents. At the top of the question list was the subject of taxes, and how much the company expects to pay into the county once the 23 wind turbines are in place on Green Mountain.
The Mineral County Commissioners got their first chance to sit down one-on-one with representatives of US Wind Force to discuss issues of concern and clarify rumors. The meeting included wind power companies trying to request exemption from the West Virginia Public Service Commission (PSC) as a public utility.
The Mineral County Commissioners are hoping to have some questions answered this evening, as they meet with representatives of U.S. Wind Force. The meeting with Wind Force, the company proposing to construct the Pinnacle Wind Farm on Green Mountain above Keyser, was the topic of discussion at the commission's June 9 meeting, when Commission President Wayne Spiggle said he wanted to meet with the group but was not interested in a "sales pitch."
Many local citizens spoke up at a Maryland Public Service Commission meeting about feeling unprotected by state and local government when it comes to a proposed wind turbine project on Backbone Mountain. "As it has been mentioned, Garrett County has no zoning whatsoever," former state Sen. John Bambacus said at the Thursday night meeting at Garrett College.
Saying he is not interested in a repeat of a "sales pitch," Mineral County President Wayne Spiggle is spelling out four specific issues which he wants representatives of U.S. Wind Force to answer when they meet with the commissioners on June 23.
The West Virginia Public Service commission has rejected a staff-proposed June hearing on the Pinnacle Wind Farm near Keyser in favor of a September hearing to include a tour of the site. The $131 million, 23-turbine wind farm on Green Mountain just west of Keyser is currently under review by the PSC, which must act on the application by early January.
The Keyser Mayor and City Council Tuesday night formally endorsed the proposed 23-turbine Pinnacle Wind Farm, as company officials announced that a local public hearing is expected to be conducted by the West Virginia Public Service Commission sometime before July 1.
The subject of wind power brought pros and cons to the floor of discussion during the Mineral County Development Authority meeting held Tuesday evening at the Elk District Fire Hall. ...Spiggle stated that he would ask two questions to wind power companies, both dealing with signed contracts by the company, with one a promise of tax revenue, and the other verifying the company would remove the turbines if necessary. "If the company would answer ‘no' to the questions, then I would oppose the wind mill project," Spiggle said.
The excellent letter by Dorothy K. Biggs leaves unsaid what must be said ("County shouldn't let US Wind Force write its own regulations," May 16 Times-News). We really need to know all about the dealings which the Allegany County commissioners have had with U.S. Wind Force, LLC.
Members of the Community Advisory Panel for the proposed Pinnacle Wind Farm near Keyser traveled to Berlin, Pa., Monday for a neck-craning, up-close tour of a wind turbine project similar to the one planned for Green Mountain. About a dozen members of the volunteer panel were guests of US WindForce as they toured the 18-turbine Lookout Project in Somerset County, which is operated by Edison Mission Group, one of the nation's leading operators of electric power generation.
The Lookout wind project in Somerset County is five turbines smaller than the US WindForce project proposed at Pinnacle in Mineral County, but members of the Community Advisory Panel got the opportunity to get a feel for wind farms and meet the company likely to operate the Pinnacle project. "Edison is our joint venture partner," Jim Cookman, vice president of project development for US WindForce, said during Monday's tour. "We have a joint development agreement.