Library from Pennsylvania

Official gives explanations for idle wind towers

"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.
14 Jun 2008

Logan tightening on turbine rules

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.
13 Jun 2008

Residents file appeal to block farm permit

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.
12 Jun 2008

Wind farm no threat to Dark Skies

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.
11 Jun 2008

Wind turbine height extended to 72 feet

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.
9 Jun 2008

Turbine noise study signed with VT firm

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.
9 Jun 2008

Alliance, Allegheny sue Pennsylvania township over anti-coal ordinance

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.
5 Jun 2008

Wind poses too many questions for Kidder Township planners

In its meeting on Wednesday night, the Kidder Township Planning Commission voted to recommend that township supervisors table their discussion of amending zoning ordinances related to windmills, wind turbines and wind energy conversion systems until more questions can be answered. The amendments are required to approve a permit for David and Nancy Pfeil, owners of the Inn at Hickory Run, White Haven, who plan to erect a wind-powered turbine. ...Planning commission members admitted that they didn't have all the answers, but member Ellen Matt suggested that the Carbon County Conservation District be contacted by the applicant to provide more information about the impact of these structures on the environment.
5 Jun 2008

Planners want details on windmill law; Kidder Twp. officials to ask supervisors to postpone hearing.

Kidder Township's Planning Commission voted Wednesday to ask supervisors to postpone a hearing for a proposed windmill ordinance until planners can gather enough information to make a recommendation. The ordinance, which recently received a favorable recommendation from the Carbon County Planning Commission, would limit the number of wind turbines to one per property; set a minimum property size of 2 acres; and create a setback requirement of 110 percent of a windmill's height. ...Planner Charles Velzy asked whether the ordinance should allow turbines to be constructed in high- and medium-density residential areas, especially since the structures generally aren't well-received by neighbors.
5 Jun 2008

Electricity surcharge challenged; Four states, Del. included, say customers overcharged

A surcharge on electric bills in Delaware and surrounding states that was designed to increase generating capacity hasn't delivered on its promise, four states are arguing in a complaint filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The states of Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania filed the complaint late Friday, together with a coalition of electricity buyers and consumer advocates. They say the surcharge will overcharge electricity consumers in the 13-state territory in the PJM Interconnection grid by $12 billion between 2008 and 2011. As a share of that, Delmarva Power ratepayers in Delaware will overpay by about $125 million in "unjust and unreasonable" rates, the states claim.
3 Jun 2008

Power the wind

They're too noisy, too big and too clunky. And they kill bats and birds. Those are key criticisms about harnessing the wind and converting Mother Nature's fury into energy via a wind turbine, which might be better known as a windmill. Karl Douglass, an engineer with a degree from Drexel University, went about trying to remedy those complaints and he believes he's done that. Sometime this summer, his Omniwind Energy Systems of Dublin in Central Bucks will begin production on a wind turbine that he says is quiet, relatively compact and environmentally friendly. ..."You wouldn't even have seen windmills in Pennsylvania not long ago, but still it's a small amount in the overall scheme," Wood added. "Solar, wind, biomass are nice, but they're a niche, they only fulfill a small percentage of our needs."
26 May 2008

Windpark plan's future a divisive topic

With a recent state Supreme Court ruling in its favor, Energy Unlimited believes its windpark project proposed for Penobscot Mountain is headed forward, but the Bear Creek Township solicitor says a previous court decision has already doomed the project. On Tuesday, the state Supreme Court denied a petition from a citizens group opposed to the project that challenged a township zoning board ruling. The ruling essentially cemented the company's assertion that the site near Crystal Lake "is generally a good place to put a wind farm," said Ed Schoener, a consultant on the project. ...The company's original land plan was rejected with about two dozen conditions the company had to satisfy. Before the company could submit a revised plan, the township passed a stricter windpark ordinance and said the company's new plan would be required to follow the new ordinance. The company argued the new ordinance made its plan impossible.
24 May 2008

Franklin supervisors adopt wind turbine ordinance

Franklin Township supervisors adopted a zoning ordinance amendment that permits wind turbines as a special exception making the requirements simpler for residents who want to have some of their homes power provided by a windmill. ...The windmills must be equipped with a redundant braking system and mechanical brakes. They will not be allowed to show advertising and must have reflectors on guy wires up to 10 feet from the ground. Applicants should not disrupt radio or television signals. The building for storage cells must not be more than 150 square feet or be taller than 15 feet. Only property where the wind is harnessed may use the energy.
23 May 2008

Windmill lawsuit dominates meeting

A decision by the Fayette County commissioners to intervene in a lawsuit about a proposed wind turbine project and how the proceeds of the impending hotel tax will be distributed dominated public comment during Thursday's monthly meeting. Numerous people wearing "Fayette TNT, Trees Not Turbines" shirts spoke to the commissioners to express concern about a decision by Commissioners Vincent Zapotosky and Angela M. Zimmerlink to intervene in the case that involves appeal of denial that would have allowed construction of 18 wind-powered turbines in Georges and Springhill townships.
23 May 2008

Zoning doesn't cover alternative energy

Stepanoff has requested Haycock allow him to install an 80-foot tall wind turbine - basically, a modern windmill - on his property. ..."Zoning in the 1970s was amended to add wind energy systems, and you could probably find some that have those provisions," said Lynn Bush, executive director of the Bucks County Planning Commission. "I think we were kind of lulled into thinking that energy would always be cheap and those ordinances were removed because nobody used them, so we have fewer of those ordinances around." Haycock's ordinance bans structures taller than 35 feet.
20 May 2008

Township slows action on turbines

Cambria Township supervisors are delaying action on a proposed ordinance governing small, residential wind turbines until some sticky issues are resolved. The ordinance, similar to one passed by Portage and Jackson townships, calls for a $500 permit fee and as much as $1,500 annually if power generated by a household-use windmill is sold to a power company. Those fees have sparked objections and some misunderstandings, said Solicitor Dennis Govachini, and a workshop and public forum are needed before supervisors act. No date has been set, although the proposed ordinance was advertised last week.
19 May 2008

Zoning permit approved for wind turbines

Vermont-based Laurel Hill Wind Energy LLC has been granted a zoning permit to build electricity-generating wind turbines in northern Lycoming County, county zoning administrator Fred G. Pfeiffer said Wednesday. The company plans to build the turbines along a seven-mile section of the Laurel Hill ridge in Jackson and McIntyre townships. A zoning permit is required for any development or change of use of a property to ensure it is permitted in that zoning district and complies with zoning regulations.
15 May 2008

Proposed wind farm on Ice Mountain blows in more concerns

Gamesa Project Developer Josh Framel was on hand to answer questions and update the proposed lease agreement with the borough. Tyrone resident Dave Panasiti addressed council during the public comment section of the agenda about his and other residents concerns over a wind farm site on watershed property. Panasiti expressed worry over council "jumping the gun" with a yes or no vote based on the informal survey taken by borough registered voters at the April 22 primary, that he termed as not being "scientific." "I would of taken the votes from people who pay real estate taxes for one thing," said Panasiti to council. "And I would of taken the votes from those who pay water bills."
13 May 2008

Shade may be getting new windfarm

A new wind farm coming to the township is one step closer to realization, supervisors said. Last July, supervisors announced that Airtricity Inc., a company that develops and operates wind farms across Europe and North America, had submitted a preliminary plan to construct turbines in the township. The company has now submitted a permit application to the township, said Chairman John Topka.
10 May 2008

Gamesa wants more room for wind farm

The company planning to construct wind turbines in Logan Township needs supervisors to enlarge the wind zone and to back away from stricter rules, a representative said Thursday. ...Supervisors said they want remedies addressing turbine noise. "You guys aren't going to pick up [the wind turbines] and move them," Supervisor Ed Frontino said. Supervisors Chairman Frank Meloy said he visited Todd and Jill Stull in Juniata Township ..."I would not want to live with that noise day in and day out," Meloy said.
9 May 2008
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