Articles from Pennsylvania

Officials approve 335-foot turbines

Logan Township supervisors will allow a wind farm developer to build the nation's next-to-tallest wind turbines in Chestnut Flats. Supervisors voted 4-to-1 Thursday night to allow Gamesa Energy to build 19 turbines north of Altoona, making them visible from 17th Street, Mill Run Road, Old Mill Run Road and along Route 36. Because of the vote, the turbines can placed on 335-foot towers, rather than 270 feet as allowed by ordinance.
10 Jul 2009

Wind farm concerns aired

Much of the Brady Township Supervisors July meeting dealt with the concerns of residents Gary and Sharon Gilmore and Mr. and Mrs. Gary Swope regarding the proposed wind farm in the township. ...Gary Swope said the township cannot write a weak ordinance due to the fear of litigation and Sharon Gilmore added that if the ordinance does not contain restrictions that will protect the health of all residents, litigation could come from residents.
9 Jul 2009

We're off to see ... the wonderful scam

''If you want to see how invasive a wind farm can be, just take a ride in Schuylkill County,'' he wrote. ''A ridge that stretches from Mahanoy City to Centralia, an area of the best hunting and passive recreational woods in that part of the county, has been ruined with these monstrosities.'' I had not visited that area for years, and the worst environmental damage I recalled was from anthracite mining. That, however, had a legitimate purpose; wind turbines are a scam that serves only to enrich those who peddle and build them.
3 Jul 2009

14 wind turbines approved for Georges and Springhill townships

Fayette County's zoning hearing board on Monday issued a split decision on an Oregon company's request for special exceptions for 22 wind turbines, granting 14 of the requests while rejecting eight others. ...The board then denied setback variances and special exceptions that had been requested for eight of the towers, meaning 14 of the towers have all of the required approvals for construction. The company will have to ensure those 14 comply with a number of conditions imposed by the board, including a measure that could shut them down temporarily if the blades kill too many bats.
30 Jun 2009

Board rejects eight wind turbines

Although the zoning board now has ruled to approve a portion of the proposed wind turbines, recent action by the board of county commissioners would allow a wind power project to start without going before the zoning board. Earlier this month, Commissioners Vincent Zapotosky and Vincent A. Vicites voted to change the zoning ordinance to allow wind turbines as a permitted use in A-1, M-1 light industrial and M-2 heavy industrial zones. Previously, wind turbines were only permitted after obtaining a special exception from the zoning board.
30 Jun 2009

Windmills receive county support

In a split decision on Thursday, the Fayette County commissioners voted to amend the county zoning ordinance to allow windmills/wind turbines as a permitted use in certain zoning districts, eliminating the need for wind energy companies to seek approval from the zoning hearing board.
26 Jun 2009

Wind turbine ruling delayed

The company granted approval this year to construct an electricity-generating wind turbine project in Fayette County when a judge overturned a decision denying the request by the Fayette County Zoning Hearing Board will have to wait a bit longer for the board's ruling. Despite objections from attorneys for the wind turbine company and a landowner participating in the project, the zoning board voted Wednesday to rule on the request within 45 days.
18 Jun 2009

Group appeals Butler windmill variance

A group of Butler Township residents has challenged a permit issued to a company planning to erect wind turbines along the Broad Mountain that would allow structures higher than the 35-foot limit. During Tuesday's meeting of the Butler Township Board of Supervisors, it was announced that an appeal has been filed to reverse the decision by township Code Enforcement Officer Tom Squires to allow the variance.
17 Jun 2009

Not so windy: Research suggests winds dying down

The wind, a favorite power source of the green energy movement, seems to be dying down across the United States. And the cause, ironically, may be global warming - the very problem wind power seeks to address. The idea that winds may be slowing is still a speculative one, and scientists disagree whether that is happening. But a first-of-its-kind study suggests that average and peak wind speeds have been noticeably slowing since 1973, especially in the Midwest and the East.
10 Jun 2009

Black Creek reviewing wind plan

The company proposing to develop a wind turbine farm on Buck Mountain will go before Black Creek Township for approval of its land development plan. The township supervisors accepted preliminary plans at its Tuesday night meeting. Penn Wind LLC of Sunbury wants to construct 22 wind turbines on top of the Buck Mountain ridge.
5 Jun 2009

Turbines' noise within limits

Wind turbines in Juniata Township sometimes make annoying and atypical noise, but not enough to violate the township's ordinance, a Vermont company has concluded. RSG Inc., which specializes in environment, energy and acoustics studies, has issued a 36-page report determining that noise made by Allegheny Ridge Wind Farm turbines in Juniata Township is less than 45 decibels, the maximum level allowed by ordinance.
2 Jun 2009

Wind turbine farm proposed

A farm of 20 to 30 commercial wind turbines set upon three ridges has been proposed for Bethlehem Water Authority watershed lands in Penn Forest Township. ...Although the project specifications have not been developed, Renz said the company is looking at two wind turbine models. ...These turbines are approximately 260 feet in diameter and 400 feet at the upper reach of the blade.
30 May 2009

Commissioners take public comments on wind turbine zoning

Fayette County commissioners took public comment Thursday on a proposal to eliminate the need for a special exception for wind turbines, but they did not immediately vote on it. Under the county's zoning ordinance, a special exception and approval by the Zoning Hearing Board is required to erect wind turbines on land zoned for agricultural and industrial use.
29 May 2009

Locust Ridge wind turbine fire still under investigation

The May 14 fire at the skyscraper-size Turbine 12 at the Locust Ridge I commercial wind farm in Mahanoy Township occurred during routine maintenance, according to a company official. Jan Johnson, corporate communications director for Iberdrola Renewables in Portland, Ore., which owns the wind farm, said Thursday that Turbine 12 is still shut down. When asked how the fire started, she said, "We're still investigating."
22 May 2009

Butler batters windmills

For about two hours, the supervisors heard arguments from a standing-room-only group of residents who made it clear that the windmills are not wanted, mainly citing health concerns as their reasons. ...[Supervisors Chairman Kevin] Kowalick said if the supervisors need a good foundation to stand on if the project is rejected. "We need a legal reason to reject the plans and we have a good start here tonight," Kowalick said.
20 May 2009

Mineral advisory panel tours Pa. wind farm site

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.
19 May 2009

Freeland officials, residents hear wind farm details

Freeland area residents and local and state officials recently heard an overview of Freeland Municipal Authority's proposed wind farm in Foster Township. St. Francis University's Renewable Energy Center will conduct the wind test at a 500-acre undeveloped site in Foster Township. The land is owned by the Freeland Municipal Authority.
19 May 2009

Hearing slated on planned windmills

The Fayette County commissioners will hold a public hearing next week on a proposed amendment to the zoning ordinance that, if adopted, would allow the placement of wind turbines in certain zoning districts without approval from the zoning hearing board. The amendment proposes to change a section of the county zoning ordinance dealing with windmill/wind turbines that would change the use from a special exception to a permitted use in agricultural and manufacturing zoning districts.
19 May 2009
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