Articles from Pennsylvania
The Brady Township Supervisors held a workshop conference call in relation to developing a wind turbine ordinance. The conversation was with Thomas Tuffey, the director of PennFuture's Center for Energy, Enterprise and the Environment covered many areas of interest for the supervisors, who are currently writing an ordinance that will place regulations on the wind turbines currently being proposed by Iberdrola, U.S.A. in the township.
High atop Armenia Mountain, near this Bradford County borough and close to the Tioga County line, the first of nearly 70 giant wind turbines is rising into the sky. According to Matt Riel, general manager of operations and maintenance with AES Armenia Mt. Wind, as of Tuesday three turbines had been erected and four others have been partially built.
The Gilberton company that wants to build windmills in Butler Township has asked Schuylkill County Court to reinstate its zoning permit for the project. Broad Mountain Development Co. LLC wants the court to allow it to construct 27 wind turbines near Fountain Springs and alleges the township zoning hearing board incorrectly revoked the permit on July 29. Serious harm would result if the court does not reverse the board's decision, according to the appeal filed Tuesday.
The latest generation of wind turbines needs bigger blades than the 140-foot-long, 6-ton models that Gamesa Technology Corp. Inc. has been making at its factory in Fairless Hills. So company officials announced 184 layoffs in January and said the blade work would be transferred to a larger Gamesa plant in the center of the state, near Altoona. And just that fast, manufacturing jobs that Spain-based Gamesa had delivered to this region less than three years earlier - aided by more than $10 million in financial incentives from Harrisburg - were gone
The Butler Township supervisors on Tuesday reinforced last month's rejection of Broad Mountain Development Co. LLC's plans to construct wind turbines in the township by holding another vote on the matter. The vote was backed by a resolution and a three-page document explaining the legal basis for the supervisors' rejection.
Each spring for the past three years, people in my neighborhood buzz about the return of flocks of great blue heron. ...Part of the reason the birds return to Bell Acres is Big Sewickley Creek, a small stream where the heron can fish undisturbed. But how much longer they remain undisturbed is anybody's guess. At the July 20 meeting of Bell Acres' Planning Commission, a proposal was introduced to turn a field about a half-mile from the heron nests into an "alternative energy center."
A little more than a year since North Strabane first received a request from a resident to install a wind turbine on his property, a draft of a zoning ordinance amendment regarding small non-commercial wind energy conversion systems soon may be voted on by the board of supervisors.
Turbines already are taking a heavy toll in West Virginia and Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania Game Commission released a report last spring showing the death rate is highest for bats, which additionally face being wiped out by a mysterious phenomenon called "white-nose syndrome." The evidence has mounted since studies in 2004 showed 1,500 to 4,000 bats annually were killed by the 44 turbines on West Virginia's Backbone Mountain.
The Federal Aviation Administration has found six of the 25 wind turbines Gamesa Energy wants to build in Taylor and Snyder townships to be "presumed hazards," but the company is continuing to study the proposed location in hopes of changing that determination. The turbines in the proposed Sandy Ridge Wind Farm would be 475 feet tall. Nine of them would be in Taylor Township, Centre County. The rest would be in neighboring Snyder Township, Blair County, on land owned by Tyrone.
A $1.5 million federal stimulus fund grant awarded Monday is just the boost needed to launch southcentral Pennsylvania's first commercial wind turbine project atop Turkey Hill in Manor Township, according to a county official. ...Warner and equal partner PPL Renewable Energy believe the turbines will serve as an example that small-scale wind projects can be built in rural areas to serve nearby customers.
One red balloon will be hoisted high above the Buck Mountain ridge overlooking Black Creek Township this month. The balloon is part of a test to better visualize what a proposed wind turbine farm will look like. ...Penn Wind LLC, Sunbury, plans to build 22 wind turbines on the ridge.
The Butler Township supervisors took actions during Tuesday's special meeting that will lead to restrictions on wind turbine placement in the township. However, those actions will most likely lead to a legal battle between the township and the developer planning to erect wind turbines. ...The supervisors voted unanimously to reject all pending plans submitted by Broad Mountain relating to wind turbines currently before the township planning commission or board of supervisors.
The zoning permit issued in 2008 to a company planning to construct wind turbines in Butler Township has been revoked. The Butler Township Zoning Hearing Board met Wednesday in the North Schuylkill Junior-Senior High School auditorium to issue its decision on an appeal by township residents to fight the permit that granted a height exception to Broad Mountain Development Co. LLC.
A Georges Township man wants a Fayette County judge to nullify recent changes to the zoning ordinance related to windmills, claiming that officials "intentionally stifled" public comment on the matter. Thomas J. Bozek sued this week in Fayette County Court, and wants the amendments to the zoning ordinance - on June 25 and on Thursday - to be thrown out. ...On June 25, commission Chairman Vincent Zapotosky and Commissioner Vincent A. Vicites voted to amend the ordinance to allow windmills/wind turbines as a permitted use in certain zoning districts.
Gamesa Energy USA's plan for a 25-turbine wind farm that would straddle the Centre-Blair county border will be up for review at the Centre County Planning Commission's August meeting. The Sandy Ridge Wind Farm will be built on 4,683 acres of land, some of it in Taylor Township, for which the company has lease agreements allowing placement of the turbines. The turbines will be 404 or 475 feet high. ...The project has sparked opposition from residents and organizations concerned about the potential negative effects of splitting up the forest.
Tuesday's meeting of the Butler Township board of supervisors seemed more like a court of law as the supervisors and the zoning officer were questioned over and over about wind turbine issues. At times, the questioning seemed more like an interrogation of supervisors Kevin Kowalick, David Kessler and Robert Burns as well as Zoning Officer Thomas Squires.
The Brady Township supervisors agreed Monday to draft an ordinance to regulate wind energy in the township after a hosting a public forum on the issue. "If every single one of us would go by the old saying 'do unto others as you would have them do unto you,' (it) wouldn't be necessary for any ordinance to ever be drawn up - but life isn't that way," Supervisor Chairman Les Wachob said.
The Gamesa plant in Cambria Township will be idled in what executives call "fits and spurts" starting later this summer. But there will be no layoffs for the approximately 300 workers at the wind-turbine plant. And, although the economy is slow and some energy tax credits have expired, the idle periods are not related.
The developer of a proposed wind turbine project that was again halted by the Fayette County Zoning Hearing Board last month when the board denied requests for eight of 22 turbines has filed an appeal in Fayette County Court asking that the denial be reversed because the company cannot receive a fair and impartial hearing before the zoning board.
An Oregon company that last month received a split decision on its request for special exceptions for 22 wind turbines filed an appeal Wednesday against Fayette County's zoning hearing board. Iberdrola Renewables, formerly known as PPM Atlantic Renewable, claimed it has not "and cannot receive a fair and impartial hearing" before the zoning hearing board.