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The Federal Aviation Administration is giving its OK to the proposed Shaffer Mountain Wind Farm, two months after voicing concerns that some turbines could potentially create problems for local airports. The FAA has issued a "determination of no hazard to air navigation" for the wind farm Gamesa USA wants to build on ridges along the Somerset-Bedford county line.
The federal government has concluded that building two wind turbines with 120-foot-long propellers atop Turkey Point does not threaten eagles, other raptors or bats. But some birding groups that missed the opportunity to weigh in on the project when public comment was invited believe the environmental impact assessment is flawed.
During a visit to the Gamesa Wind USA plant in Ebensburg, Gov. Edward Rendell announced $22.8 million in grants through the stimulus program that will not only put people to work at Gamesa, but also will create another 257 jobs at three large-scale wind farms. Among the grants is a $10 million allocation to Iberdrola Renewables' South Chestnut wind project to install 23 two-megawatt turbines in Fayette County.
Workers applauded as Gov. Ed Rendell on Thursday made it official – all 79 employees laid off three months ago from a Cambria County wind-turbine plant are back at work. And Spain-based Gamesa U.S.A. will be able to hire an additional 50 workers at its Ebensburg-area plant.
American University's Investigative Reporting Workshop found that foreign turbine makers have received about 80 percent of nearly $2 billion in stimulus wind-power funding. The workshop estimates about 6,000 jobs have been created overseas versus just a few hundred here.
By a two-to-one vote the supervisors approved an ordinance which some said will spell the end of wind turbines in the township. Supervisors Charlie Muth and Brian Hartzfeld voted in favor of adopting the ordinance while Chairman Darryl Beatty voted against it. Hartzfeld said he was voting in favor of the law but that he thought it could be amended in the future.
Activists who are challenging the noise standards used to approve large wind power projects in Maine argued their case Wednesday before the Maine Supreme Judicial Court and heard sympathetic remarks from justices who questioned whether the current rules are adequate to protect nearby residents. At issue is a new state law aimed at speeding up wind energy development.
Windmills are coming to Summerhill Township, with as many as 27 energy-producing turbines planned for outside Beaverdale. EverPower, formerly EverPower Renewables, is wheeling out Highland North Wind Farm. The company plans to have the turbines cranking out 62 megawatts of electricity - or enough power for 30,000 homes - by summer 2011.
The Brady Township Supervisors moved one step closer to adopting an ordinance that will regulate the construction of commercial wind turbines in the township. According to supervisors Chairman Darryl Beatty, the purpose of the special meeting was to discuss and amend the ordinance that was presented at an earlier special meeting.
There’s been plenty of bluster among the Northumberland County commissioners regarding a proposed wind farm, but residents had little to say about the project during a special public meeting Wednesday night. ...About 15 people attended Wednesday night’s meeting, but only Penn Wind CEO Justin Dunkelberger spoke up.
Wind-turbine manufacturer Gamesa Inc. is looking for a way to haul its huge blades out by rail, minimizing truck transport. Company spokesman Michael Peck said Friday no decisions have been made as to where a rail link could be made, but said the closer to the Ebensburg plant the better.
The battle over wind turbines continues in Butler Township as opposing sides fight over bats, birds and what constitutes valid testimony. The Butler Township Zoning Hearing Board heard testimony from both sides again Wednesday as residents fought to stop a plan by Broad Mountain Development Co. LLC.
Two separate Northumberland County boards of commissioners were cautioned since 2006 by three legal advisers about "shortcomings" in a Sunbury firm's wind farm proposal. At issue is the land-lease agreement between the county and Penn Wind, a 29-year deal that is in the midst of being renewed and has been in jeopardy for months.
The co-owner and chief executive officer for Penn Wind LLC said he didn't attend Tuesday's commissioners' meeting because Commissioner Chairman Frank Sawicki informed one of his associates just prior to the session that the wind farm issue wasn't on the meeting agenda and probably wouldn't be discussed.
Controversy, confusion and conflict came into play Tuesday afternoon as Northumberland County commissioners and residents expressed dissatisfaction with a lease agreement for a proposed wind farm in East Cameron and Coal townships. At the center of the debate are several issues, including the validity of the lease, how much acreage is involved with the agreement, and most importantly, whether the county is receiving its fair share.
More than 50 people packed the meeting room at the county Administration Building to hear details of a land-lease agreement between the county and Penn Wind, of Sunbury. Instead, they saw the two majority Democrats, Chairman Frank Sawicki and Vinny Clausi, snipe at each other and got a glimpse into why the deal is on shaky ground.
Renegotiation of a lease that could lead to construction of a wind farm south of Shamokin has caused a rift between Northumberland County and Penn Wind LLC. The Sunbury firm three years ago negotiated a lease for 200 acres of county land in Coal and East Cameron townships. But the current board of commissioners has not approved the annual renewal of the contract, which expired in early December.
If wind turbines are ever proposed for Hanover Township, the board of commissioners wants to be ready. The board is holding a hearing on Feb. 17 to seek public comment on adding to its zoning ordinance of a provision to allow turbines in certain areas as a conditional use. After the public comments at the special meeting, the board could vote on the issue.
A lease deal between Northumberland County and Penn Wind LLC, of Sunbury, is up in the air today. Three years ago, county Commissioners Samuel Deitrick, Kurt Masser and Frank Sawicki approved an agreement with Penn Wind to lease 200 acres in Coal and East Cameron townships.
The Federal Aviation Administration says that half of the 30 windmills proposed by Gamesa Energy USA for a controversial wind power project on an ecologically sensitive ridge area in Somerset County are a hazard to aviation. Opponents of the wind turbine project hope the FAA's preliminary finding will shut it down, but FAA officials say even a final determination would not stop the development.