Articles from Pennsylvania

Wind turbine firm seeks farm expansion

Logan Township Supervisors heard a request from Gamesa Energy USA Thursday evening for an overlay expansion to its proposed wind farm in the Chestnut Flats area. The board unanimously directed the request to the township Planning Commission for review and discussion. Chairman Frank Meloy said he would like to know who will be able to see the windmills from their homes.
26 Sep 2008

2 commissioners back windmill plan

During the agenda meeting, Commissioners Vincent Zapotosky and Vincent A. Vicites voted to place a motion on Thursday's agenda to approve an agreement between PPM Atlantic Renewable Energy Corp./Iberdrola Renewables, the county and property owners that petitioned the court to be included in the case. Commissioner Angela M. Zimmerlink voted against the action, saying she doesn't believe the commissioners have the authority to approve changes to the proposed project. Zapotosky said the agreement eliminates one of the proposed sites and also does not include any mention of a scholarship fund funded by PPM and administered by the county that was part of a prior agreement.
24 Sep 2008

Viewpoints vary on touchy wind turbine issue

With at least two energy companies eying area ridge tops for construction of massive wind turbines, the Potter County Board of Commissioners has plenty to think about before putting its final approval on amendments to the county's Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance. At least 125 people crowded into the courtroom last Thursday night, the majority attending to learn, rather than speak, during the two-hour public hearing.
20 Sep 2008

Birds and windmills don't mix

While the open sky is big enough for 400-foot-high wind turbines and migratory birds, animal conservationists are airing their concerns about the threat windmills pose to wildlife. "Any place thinking about installation (of wind turbines) should take years studying the issue," Keith Bildstein, director of conservation science at Hawk Mountain Sanctuary, said Friday. "That is a prescription the wind industry apparently finds distasteful." Bildstein and other local conservationists and bird-watchers say the wind industry fails to adequately study bird migration patterns before wind projects break ground.
14 Sep 2008

3 Pa. men allege bias, sue wind turbine-maker

Three Pennsylvania men have filed a federal lawsuit against a Spanish wind turbine manufacturer, saying that they were illegally replaced by younger workers. The three also claim the company gave Spanish workers preferential treatment. ...Their federal lawsuit filed in Johnstown says the men were all replaced by younger employees and that two of the three replacements were also Spaniards.
12 Sep 2008

Tyrone Borough Council opts to have its watershed property evaluated

...the evaluation will trace the root of the water to its origin, beginning at the bottom of the drainage and then walk up the stream valley taking length and depth measurements of the water sources. All of the measurements will have GPS coordinates, and the key product will be map based. "We'll take that information and be able to craft plans to protect the water," said Casselberry. "We're trying to increase protection." Ultimately, the complete two-phase evaluation would map out the watershed and show where natural gas drilling and wind turbine construction could be done, or it will show that one or the other, or both, can't be done.
9 Sep 2008

Company seeks help harnessing power of sun, wind

An Upper Moreland company is seeking a $1 million state grant to develop a combination solar and wind turbine that it is touting as "the world's first hybrid renewable energy technology." Precision Assembly Inc., on the 2300 block of Computer Avenue, is partnering with Bluenergy Solarwind Inc., to develop the turbines, which would harness both wind and solar energy and would be sold to owners of commercial or residential buildings to provide clean energy, according to Paul Stepanoff, the company's chief executive officer.
8 Sep 2008

Officials say it's too early to tell if turbine works well

The wind turbine in Pine erected two months ago to help power the township's new community center has not had any major problems, director of land development Larry Kurpakus said, but it may be too early to definitively call the turbine project a success. The turbine cannot turn without winds of 10 mph or stronger, and it has only operated sporadically this summer.
7 Sep 2008

Washington Township puts limits on wind turbines; Law targets height, location and number per property

Washington Township, Lehigh County, officials see wind power as a potentially clean and affordable source of energy. They also worry that it could be ugly and unneighborly. Earlier this week, township supervisors voted to limit where residents can set up wind turbines on their properties and restricted their height. The new ordinance also limits turbines to one per property, and requires the energy from them to be used only by the owner, although excess power can be sold back to PPL Electric Utilities.
5 Sep 2008

Lawmakers look for piece of energy pie

The Cattaraugus County Legislature will vote on a local law next week that is expected to trigger wind farm construction proposals in some areas of the county. The law would provide no tax exemption for alternative energy systems including wind, solar and farm waste. By opting out of tax exemptions for alternative energy systems, most notably wind farms, the law would open up the option of payments in lieu of taxes (PILOT payments) ...Legislators in July tabled a resolution to hire Hiscock & Barclay, a law firm with offices in Buffalo, to advise county lawmakers on legal issues surrounding wind farms.
4 Sep 2008

Wind-turbine maker fined for emissions, poor records

A wind-turbine company that has been credited with bringing green jobs to Pennsylvania and restoring an abandoned Bucks County steel plant has been fined $639,161 by the state Department of Environmental Protection for problems that included emissions violations and "substantial" record-keeping lapses. The agency announced yesterday, before a holiday weekend, that Gamesa USA had paid the fine. ... one of the biggest issues was with emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from the paints, solvents and adhesives used to make the giant blades and other components of the turbines.
30 Aug 2008

With appeal, resident keeps wind fight alive

Jackson Township resident Frank M. Piccolella Sr. said he still believes he can win the war against a wind farm proposed in northern Lycoming County. ...Piccolella filed an appeal Friday in county court asking it to overturn a decision by the county Zoning Hearing Board that cleared the way for Vermont-based Laurel Hill Wind Energy LLC to build up to 35 electricity-generating wind turbines on the Laurel Hill ridge in Jackson and McIntyre townships.
28 Aug 2008

Specter stops in Bedford, Johnstown; Alternative energy hot topic of the day

"We've been really derelict," Specter said of Congress' response to the energy issue. "We're gonna have to go to alternate forms of energy, and I've been supporting that." Virginia Deeter from Somerset County told Specter her home of 30 years soon would sit between two wind turbine facilities: one 1,400 feet away from her back door and the other 1,800 feet away from her front door. "Our home is going to be worthless," she said she was told by real estate agents. "Where do we turn?"
27 Aug 2008

Mix of sun, wind - and coal

The Wall Street Journal recently noted that increasing wind power to 20 percent in the next two decades alone would require a $2 trillion investment. Energy costs already strain household budgets, especially those of lower-income families and individuals. This year, U.S. households bringing home less than $50,000 a year - that is, half of households - will spend a quarter of their after-tax income on energy, double the percentage they spent in 2001.
25 Aug 2008

Gamesa to end tower production

Spanish wind turbine company Gamesa Inc. announced Friday that it is laying off 28 workers in its Falls tower production facility as it winds down its tower business, which will be handled by subcontractors in the future. Since it opened in 2006, Gamesa has produced towers, blades and turbines at three plants in the Keystone Industrial Port Complex in Falls. But it is negotiating with five potential subcontractors interested in taking over the tower production at the KIPC.
24 Aug 2008

Farmer says possibility of power line on his land 'like a punch to the gut'

One week after moving in, Loudenslager found out that a swath of the farm where cows graze and alfalfa grows soon could be cleared to make way for a high-voltage power line. "It's like a punch to the gut," Loudenslager said. "This is where I've wanted to be my whole life." Loudenslager's farm north of Boonsboro sits on one of several routes that have been suggested for the Potomac Appalachian Transmission Highline (PATH), which would run from St. Albans, W.Va., through Bedington, W.Va., to Kemptown, Md., in Frederick County.
24 Aug 2008

Pa. judges recommend against power line

Virginia may have given a controversial power line an initial "yes," but Pennsylvania has given it an initial "no." In a ruling released late Thursday, regulatory judges in Pennsylvania recommended that the state's Public Utilities Commission deny applications from Allegheny Power and Dominion Virginia power to build the Trans-Allegheny Interstate Line. A hearing examiner for the Virginia State Corporation Commission has recommended approval for the controversial power line, but only on the condition that West Virginia and Pennsylvania also sign off on the plan.
23 Aug 2008

Massive power line project not needed, PUC judges say

After reviewing thousands of pages of testimony and comments from numerous public hearings, Judges Mark A. Hoyer and Michael A. Nemec in a 364-page document said Allegheny Energy, through its transmission line subsidiary TrAILCo had "failed to carry the burden of truth" for the entire 240-mile project. "Based on our review of the entire record, we have concluded that little or no need for reinforcement in the Prexy service area presently exists," the judges wrote.
21 Aug 2008

Windmills, power lines, loss of view draw worry

If someone were to tell Doug Tewksbury or Tom Baisley to go jump off a cliff, they'd probably seize the moment That is, of course, if they were at their favorite launch spot on the top of Mehoopany Mountain. The weekend warriors who can't seem to get paragliding out of their blood are part of a small yet growing group of individuals who are worried. They're worried that BPAlternative Energy's plan to put an 85-90 wind turbine park in the southern part of Wyoming County will not only spoil their fun, but also disrupt the peace and solitude that the sleepy Endless Mountains have enjoyed for centuries.
20 Aug 2008

Destroying forests for wind development makes no sense

The destruction of lush forests full of life will only encourage global warming. The state's new Carbon Management Advisory Group (CMAG) Report notes that loss of forests to development causes a one-time surge of greenhouse gas emissions and eliminates the forests' future ability to sequester carbon. ...The wind industries target small rural areas ...Maybe it would be more beneficial to install them in every mall parking lot and big cities where there are no trees, plenty of noise to drown them out, and where the people that really want them can see them and enjoy them as much as they think they do.
16 Aug 2008
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