Articles from Pennsylvania

Wind farm dispute in U.S. court

A storm is swirling around an 18-turbine wind farm outside Berlin, which is at the center of a multimillion-dollar federal lawsuit. Project developers Lookout Windpower Holding Co. of Missouri and Freestream Capital LLC are suing farm owner Edison Mission Group of Irvine, Calif., and four other companies. The plaintiffs say they still are owed $10.5 million on the $11.5 million deal.
15 May 2009

Supervisors send turbine proposal

A proposal to build the area's tallest wind turbines, visible from downtown Altoona to the Buckhorn, has been forwarded to the Logan Township Planning Commission for comment. Supervisors, who asked Thursday night if the taller-than-typical height would affect noise and visibility from the Horseshoe Curve, agreed that they want the planning commission to look at the latest proposal.
15 May 2009

Somerset County wind turbine project to be reviewed

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Army Corps of Engineers will formally review whether the endangered Indiana bat and migratory birds could be harmed by 30 big wind turbines proposed for ecologically sensitive Shaffer Mountain in northeastern Somerset County. ...The federal review, requested by three state environmental groups, is the first U.S. Endangered Species Act assessment of the impacts of wind projects in the Eastern U.S. on bats and migratory birds.
13 May 2009

Residents hear concerns about wind turbine plans

About 40 residents of Brady Township and the surrounding area met at the Brady Township Community Building Monday to hear about some of the possible effects of a wind turbine project that is being developed in the area. Luthersburg residents Sharon and Gary Gilmore hosted the event and invited a speaker from Save Our Allegheny Ridges to speak.
13 May 2009

Windber concerned about wind project

In 2007, Gamesa Energy USA agreed to allow the Windber Area Authority to oversee the impact the proposed 30-turbine Shaffer Mountain Wind Farm would have on the watershed. As part of the deal, the authority imposed certain conditions on the development. Now, as the state Department of Environmental Protection is considering Gamesa's permit for the wind project, the authority wants to make sure the state is taking those conditions into account.
13 May 2009

Iberdrola Renewables bat study shows more than 70 percent reduction in bat mortality at wind energy facilities

The first year of a ground-breaking effort to study the interaction between bats and wind turbines at the Casselman Wind Power Project shows that turning off the turbines during low wind periods reduced bat mortality by more than 70 percent. Iberdrola Renewables, the owner of the Casselman wind farm, partnered with independent conservation group, Bat Conservation International (BCI), for wildlife data collection at the southwestern Pennsylvania wind power project.
12 May 2009

Data on Gamesa blow ill wind on Shaffer Mountain

An eight-page Deficiency Letter from DEP on March 17 cites unacceptable plans for restoration of disrupted streams, an undisclosed timber disturbance, improper labeling and scaling of the construction site drawing, inadequate documentation of approval by the Federal Aviation Administration, etc. Gamesa hasn't satisfactorily met its legal obligation to consult with the Pennsylvania Natural Diversity Inventory. This is especially egregious because of the presence of state and federally endangered Indiana bats at the site.
10 May 2009

Zimmerlink questions zoning rulings

One Fayette County commissioner said that a recently overturned zoning hearing board ruling is evidence that the board doesn't always rule in line with county's zoning ordinance. ..."The court's ruling solidifies my long-standing concern of factual instances where ZHB decisions deviates from the county's zoning ordinance," Commissioner Angela M. Zimmerlink said.
5 May 2009

Gamesa changes plan for Logan wind farm

The company that pursued building wind turbines in Logan Township has a new plan with taller versions that are confined to the township's wind zone. Representatives for Gamesa Energy recently submitted revised plans for a wind farm of 19 turbines in the Chestnut Flats area zoned for that type of land use. The company previously proposed building 25 wind turbines, with 17 inside the zone and eight outside.
4 May 2009

Judge overturns zoning board wind turbine decision

Judge Ralph C. Warman, who heard the appeal filed by PPM Atlantic Renewable, sent the case back to the zoning hearing board. "Since the ZHB has exclusive jurisdiction to hear and render final adjudications in applications for variances, and upon consideration that the ZHB has failed to do so in this case, we remand this action back to the ZHB for further proceedings consistent with this opinion," Warman wrote.
2 May 2009

County judge reverses wind-turbine decision

In the ruling handed down Thursday, Judge Ralph Warman reversed the hearing board's denial of a special exception for Iberdrola Renewables, formerly known as PPM Atlantic Renewable. Warman found that the zoning board "abused its discretion and committed errors of law" when it issued the denial. Warman ordered the zoning board to reconsider Iberdrola's request.
2 May 2009

Proposed turbines worry Black Creek Twp. residents

Black Creek Township residents' concerns weren't eased by testimony Thursday from a wind power company that plans to construct 22 turbines on the Buck Mountain ridge. ...Resident Edward Vergari said the township should collect more information and mandate that all applicable state, county and local permits be secured by Penn Wind prior to zoning approval.
25 Apr 2009

Black Creek grants windmill approval

A Sunbury-based alternative energy company received approval to harness wind power in Black Creek Township, paving the way to set 22 turbines along the skyline of Buck Mountain on former coal mining land. During nearly three hours of testimony and public response Thursday night, the Black Creek Township Zoning Hearing Board heard Penn Wind LLC's request for a special exception to build four, 425-foot-tall turbines in the township.
24 Apr 2009

Butler halts windmills

Pending the study of zoning issues and other variables, the Butler Township supervisors voted Tuesday evening to place a moratorium on any construction of commercial and residential wind turbines in the township. The supervisors made the decision after about a 90-minute discussion involving township residents opposed to a proposed project to place 27 wind turbines, or windmills, in the township.
22 Apr 2009
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