Library from Pennsylvania
Airtricty Stonycreek Wind Farm is looking to build four electricity-generating wind turbines in Allegheny Township -- part of a broader project that includes 28 wind turbines in Stonycreek Township and three in Shade Township. The project since has been taken over by E.ON Climate & Renewable, a German energy company. E.ON recently purchased the North American operations of Airtricty, which is based in Ireland. The three townships in Somerset County were chosen for the project, set for next year, for several reasons. "Wind, transmission and land," said Douglas Colbeck, E.ON's vice president of Northeast development.
Residents will get their chance to speak up about a proposed power line route through Springfield at three public hearings this month hosted by the Public Utility Commission. The supervisors have taken a stand against PPL's plans for the "cross-country route" and substation. They say the route will negatively affect environmentally sensitive areas and should be moved closer to Route 309 or the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority railroad corridor. The proposed line crosses woodlands, wetlands, flood plains and agricultural land through rural parts of Springfield and Richland.
Supervisors on Tuesday approved an agreement that could provide $40,000 each year for a wind farm BP Alternative Energy wants to build in the township. Under the "voluntary host community agreement," Noxen will receive a one-time upfront payment of $50,000 payable within 30 days of the installation of the first wind turbine.
A possible wind farm atop Ice Mountain in Blair County has caused a flurry of controversy, with residents even signing petitions and casting ballots in favor or against it. However, it looks like all that buzz might not even matter. Officials said some companies have found natural gas on Ice Mountain in Snyder Township, just outside of Tyrone. Although there's nothing set in stone, it could be an alternative to those windmills.
"You have to have some kind of guidelines," said William "B.J." Smith, Adams chairman. "But we wouldn't want to deny anybody the right to run their own home." Barbin's residential wind-turbine ordinance is based on those enacted by other municipalities. It would requre setbacks from the owner's property line to be at at least equal to tower's height plus 15 feet. Most residential wind turbines are less than 150 feet tall, according to the American Wind Energy Association.
Wind turbines proposed for a portion of the East Conneaut Industrial Park would occupy land that now contains wetlands, not property earmarked for commercial growth, interim City Manager Edward Somppi said Thursday. "We wouldn't involve the good, developable land," Somppi said. City officials continue to talk with representatives of SRG Sites Associates of Willoughby, which wants to buy at least 159 acres of the 286-acre park and market it to a company that would install wind turbine generators.
Wind can be strong or weak, consistent or unreliable, sufficient to support wind generation or not. It all depends on location. Local support for wind can also be strong or weak, consistent or unreliable, sufficient or insufficient to support wind generation. It, too, depends on location. About 200 people from across Virginia converged at JMU for the second annual VWEC symposium on wind energy and their interest in the industry was about the only thing they had in common. Most, but not all, supported wind power development. And not all those in favor were willing to accept wind energy unconditionally.
Despite township Planning Commission concerns, Kidder Township supervisors voted Thursday to adopt an ordinance regulating the construction and use of residential windmills. ...Although the ordinance did receive a nod from the county Planning Commission, township planners earlier this month asked supervisors to postpone its adoption until further information was gathered. Tim Ryan, Pfeil's neighbor, opposes turbines in residential areas and has asked officials to consider the impact a turbine would have on wildlife, wetlands, and noise levels.
Two Fayette County property owners who opposed a windmill project have reached a tentative agreement with the developer that will ensure the turbines are built at least 6,000 feet away from their homes. Eric Williams of Skyline Drive in Wharton said Thursday that he and another property owner, Larry Williams, expect to finalize the tentative deal with PPM Atlantic Renewable Energy Corp. by next week. Sam Enfield of PPM confirmed yesterday that a verbal agreement has been reached. The two property owners, who are not related, were seeking to intervene in a lawsuit brought by PPM.
Following action taken by the Mahanoy Township supervisors, nuisance laws, particularly in regard to dilapidated buildings, are becoming stricter. "We are amending our present ordinances to make them stricter. It is not fair to neighbors to have to live next door to these places," said Chairwoman Sharon Chiao following the meeting. She did not name specifics of the amendments. ...The supervisors agreed to approve the plans for Phase 2 of the Locust Ridge Wind Farm as soon as an agreement regarding the 12 proposed windmills is signed. Chiao said during the first phase, it took an extended amount of time and legal wrangling to come to an equitable agreement regarding the windmills. Chiao said after the meeting that during Phase 1, the township agreed to a stipend of $18,000 a year for the 12 windmills. This time they are seeking $23,000 a year for the 12 new windmills as costs continue to rise.
The owner of a 100-acre wind farm in Juniata Township, Blair County, and three townships in Cambria County has asked a judge to dismiss a civil lawsuit filed by property owners complaining of noise and vibrations from the giant turbines. Allegheny Ridge Wind Farm LLC of Philadelphia said a court ruling in favor of a husband and wife complaining about the noise could "open the judicial floodgates to any neighbor to sue a wind farm after construction based on the wind farm's mere existence."
Supervisors adopted an ordinance that permits wind turbines as an exception and also adopted an ordinance that authorizes the tax collector to charge a fee for wage attachments when she collects delinquent per capita and occupational taxes. The wind turbine ordinance regulates the minimum height of the lowest position of the wind rotor at 25 feet above the ground, plus requires redundant braking systems and that wind mills must be at least 110 percent times the turbine height away from a structure or a neighboring property line.
A hearing on the appeal filed by the Tioga Preservation Group against the Tioga County Planning Commission's decision to grant a conditional approval to a 124-turbine wind farm project has not yet been scheduled, and it could be some time before any decision is made. And, no hearing will be scheduled soon, according to Ron Kamzelski, a member of the group that filed the appeal in Tioga County Court to change the decision about AES's project. "All the parties involved met with the judge in April so he could set ground rules and they agreed to prepare briefs in the case," Kamzelski said. ...[AES project director] White said the appeal still is in the court process but "has not caused us to stop moving forward."
"I kept looking at them the last couple weeks," he said. "They haven't been spinning." As energy company officials continue to eye Somerset County hillsides for potential tower sites, Walukas said, he wants some explanation for the ones standing still. "With all of the hubbub about getting them up and running I thought somebody should be looking into it," he said. The windmills Walukas said he sees standing idle are towers south of Meyersdale and ones near Garrett.
By the end of the 90-minute discussion, supervisors agreed to retain 45 decibels as the maximum permitted noise level, and developers dropped their objections to an additional scale measuring vibrations, with the maximum level set at 60 decibels. On another issue, supervisors kept in the proposal that wind turbines be at least 2,500 feet from a property line if an occupied structure is on the site, unless waived by the owner. But they also agreed that if there are no occupied structures on a property, then a wind turbine can be up to 1.5 times its height from the property line. The ordinance sets the maximum wind turbine height at 270 feet.
Eight Jackson Township residents have appealed a zoning permit approved for a commercial wind farm proposed in northern Lycoming County. The group - Frank Piccolella, Judi Piccolella, Walter Wroblewski, Gene Koonz, Dorothy Koonz, John E. Brucklacher Jr., Beverly Brucklacher and John E. Brucklacher III - signed their names to a single appeal involving Vermont-based Laurel Hill Wind Energy LLC's zoning permit application. The company applied for the permit to build more than 30 electricity-generating wind turbines on a seven-mile section of the Laurel Hill Ridge in Jackson and McIntyre townships.
The proposed construction of wind turbines on Fox Hill in Ulysses Township will have no noticeable affect on the dark skies at Cherry Springs according to a study released last Thursday by the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. DCNR commissioned the study from an internationally respected lighting consultant - Clanton and Associates of Boulder, Colo. - after opponents of the wind power project and some amateur astronomers who use the park raised concerns that flashing red lights on top of the turbines could create light pollution that would diminish the quality of stargazing at the park.
Wind turbines are expected to shoot up in Haycock. In response to residents' requests, supervisors increased the allowed maximum height of the energy-harnessing wind turbines from 65 feet to 72 feet. Township officials plan to hash out the details at tonight's planning commission meeting. In recent months, supervisors have been working on an ordinance that would regulate wind turbines in the rural Upper Bucks township. ...Haycock officials say wind turbine proposals are on the way, and they are trying to put sound rules in place for governing them. Buckingham has already adopted a wind power ordinance that sets windmill heights at a maximum of 140 feet.
Juniata Township supervisors have signed a contract with a Vermont company to study pinpointing how much noise is created by the Allegheny Ridge Wind Farm turbines. But how fast the study gets done may depend on the time residents take to complete survey forms documenting noise, followed by company personnel visiting the area based on weather forecasts. ...For more than a year, residents living near the wind turbines have complained about intermittent noise from the wind turbines, created under various weather conditions. Sixty people signed a petition asking for help.
The plaintiffs said that the township, in violation of the commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution, passed an ordinance in December 2007 that seeks to ban mining in the township. "The Anti-Mining Ordinance has a substantial impact on interstate commerce because it has the effect of curbing the supply of coal, which is an important natural resource, at a time when demand for coal is growing substantially," said the plaintiffs. The lawsuit also said the ordinance violates the contracts and equal protection clauses, due process rights and the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. It is also an illegal taking without adequate compensation, the plaintiffs contend.