Library from Pennsylvania
A Canadian trucking company that was issued $84,295 in citations by state police last week plans to appeal, saying it was penalized over a technicality and has never had any problems transporting oversized loads in Pennsylvania. ...The trucks were carrying turbines to a windmill farm outside Meyersdale, about 70 miles southeast of Pittsburgh. Police said all eight loads were found to be too heavy, too tall and too wide to be traveling without the permits.
Letter to Tyrone Mayor James Kilmartin in response to Mayor Kilmartin's request for community input on a potential wind facility. Gamesa is proposing to erect 10-15 wind turbines on borough property located on Ice Mountain for a total of 25 units on the ridge tops in the area.
Pennsylvania State Police stopped eight commercial vehicles hauling components for windmills that had improper special hauling permits. They issued 50 citations with fines totaling more than $84,000. ...“I contacted an individual at the site and issued a verbal warning,” Pivirotto said. “He assured me the complaints were not legitimate.” Calls to the wind farm site for comment were not returned. Casselman WindPower LLC of Richmond, Va., filed the plans to erect seven turbines in Summit and Black townships, according to the county planning commission. The project is being constructed by PPM Energy, Oregon.
Municipal officials riding a tour bus this week along Route 39 toward the town of Eagle first spotted several 300-feet-high wind turbines at a distance of about two miles away. A tour of the Bliss wind turbine park, sponsored by the Southern Tier West Regional Planning and Development Board, was set up to provide town officials in Cattaraugus County a variety of aspects on wind turbines. Proposals for wind turbine farms have been reviewed locally in communities that include the towns of Allegany and Carrollton as well as across the state line in Potter County. ..."This is my view now," he said pointing to the large wind turbines looming high above the tree lines. "This looks like the ‘War of the Worlds' out here, I mean I previously had a pristine, gorgeous view. "I can see 13 of these (wind towers) out here, and they say ‘your property value is going to increase' but do you think that's going to increase my property value," he asked.
Plans for a proposed 34-turbine wind farm in Bear Creek Township will start back at the beginning of the approval process. The state Supreme Court on Thursday refused to hear an appeal of Energy Unlimited's case to place 25 of a proposed 34 wind turbines on county-owned Theta land in the township. Ed Shoener, EUI's project manager, said the company would resubmit an application with the township, though fewer turbines would be allowed at the site because of a new zoning ordinance in the township. ...Supervisor Ruth Koval said she has no problem with EUI submitting new plans. "If they submit a plan that is correct and we can work with, I have no problem with it at all - as long as they follow our ordinances," Koval said.
Plans for a proposed 36-turbine wind farm in Bear Creek Township hit another snag for Energy Unlimited Inc. The state Supreme Court decided to not hear the company's appeal for the front 25 turbines. In February, Commonwealth Court upheld township supervisors' assertion that the EUI's plans were too incomplete. Project Manager Ed Shoener said the company will refile its preliminary plan with the township to move the project forward.
The fate of a proposed amendment to the county zoning ordinance as it pertains to wind energy is in the hands of the Lycoming County commissioners, who will vote on the amendment on Nov. 15. The commissioners Monday hosted a public hearing at Pennsylvania College of Technology to hear comments about the amendment, which, if approved, would allow commercial electricity-generating wind turbines by right in resource protection, agriculture and countryside zoning districts.
The county seized Highpoint from a Lancaster County developer in hopes it would become part of an approximately 725-acre heritage park. A jury is expected to convene at a yet-unscheduled date to determine how much the county will have to pay for it. With the price expected to be so high, Grove would support the construction of more than three dozen windmills on the riverside property to generate money for the county, he said. Besides paying for Highpoint, selling the electricity could help the county keep property taxes under control in the future. ...When it comes to Highpoint, Grove's idea for the property would represent perhaps the most radical change. Its stunning view of the Susquehanna River and surrounding countryside were the primary reasons Mitrick and Kilgore approved seizing it for the park project.
Clean energy, no greenhouse gases, less dependence on foreign oil, guaranteed revenue for Tyrone - what's the catch? Well, there are many definite and possible catches. Gamesa promises no negative impacts to Tyrone's drinking water, but I wonder if they can really build all of those giant wind turbines without erosion taking place. There is always the possibility of an accident as well. According to Stan Kotala, spokesperson for the Juniata Valley Audubon Society, the small environmental gain from building the windmills would be offset by a huge ecological cost. Sandy Ridge has been identified as an Important Bird Area and a greenway. The wind turbines threaten birds and building them causes forest fragmentation. Mayor Kilmartin points out in his analysis, "... the structures will take up the ridge tops that people so tremendously love about this community." And these are big structures, too. One can't really comprehend their 450-foot height until you get close.
Those speaking Monday during a public hearing regarding a proposed change to Lycoming County's zoning ordinance as it pertains to wind energy will have to follow conduct guidelines. On Thursday, the Lycoming County commissioners adopted the new rules. ...If approved, the [zoning] amendment would allow commercial electricity-generating wind turbines in resource protection, countryside and agricultural zoning districts by right.
Recent articles, stated the project will enhance the water quality at this site. Also, Gamesa states that protecting natural resources and wildlife is a "shared priority" with the community. If this is so, then why was there a rattlesnake study of the area done in November (when snakes are hibernating)? Why did Gamesa do a study on bird migration in July, when bird migration doesn't start until late August, September and October? How does bringing in large equipment to clear-cut the forest and building new roads improve water quality of streams that are already of the highest quality in the state?
Council members Thursday voted 3-1 to adopt an ordinance to restrict the use of windmill turbines, big and small, to get "some degree of regulation on the books" before requests come in. The ordinance establishes restrictive regulations both for commercial wind energy facilities - with towers 300 feet or higher and huge turbine blades - and for small turbines that generate 60 kilowatts or less primarily drawn by the property on which it is located. "I would not want Mount Nittany to have wind turbines on top of it," councilman Daniel Klees said. "I look at this as being a starting point. I'm confident about being a little more restrictive now because we haven't had a request."
Justin Dunkelberger, chief executive officer of Penn Wind LLC, said his company entered into an "exploratory agreement" with the county last year to examine the feasibility of using wind-powered turbines to generate electricity on Burnside Mountain near Gowen City. After a year of testing, he went before the county commissioners Tuesday to request a lease agreement so his company can begin construction next year. ...Penn Wind LLC, based in Sunbury, is a joint venture of DGP Power and Juwi GmbH and was founded in March 2006 to find and develop land to create wind and solar energy. Mr. Dunkelberger said they already have secured several sites across the country, including land in New York, Ohio, Maryland, Iowa and Kansas.
Tyrone Mayor James Kilmartin is asking the community to provide its input on the potential wind farm. Gamesa will be hoping to receive the borough's decision at the next council meeting November 13. "I want the community's response," said Mayor Kilmartin. "These wind mills will be up there for almost 30 years. These are 300 foot structures, then another 150 feet with the blades, so it's a 450 foot structure that's going to be on top of our ridge tops." ...He continued, "Years ago somebody made the decision to bring in low income housing and we went overboard on that, so now we're reaping some of the negative fruits of that decision. We want to look at this wind mill decision very systematically."
I made a trip up to Blue Knob today, in response to a constituent complaint to hear and see the new wind turbines located along the mountain top. ...It was a windy day and the blades were really moving. The complaint we received was about how disruptive the noise was. I agree after going to the site myself that the noise is disturbing and certainly carried to the home of the people who contacted me. I was also surprised at the ground area needed to facilitate the turbines, which includes a wide road cut into the woods. There needs to be more discussion on the placement of these structures and their effect not only on the environment but on the people who live close by.
After more than an hour of public testimony - most of it opposed to the proposed AES wind farm project in Tioga and Bradford counties - the Tioga County Planning Commission tabled any action, pending further review. AES's application to build 124 wind turbines on more than 10,000 acres of leased private property on top of Armenia Mountain has been submitted to the commission, but because it is "incomplete," Tioga County Planner Jim Weaver recommended to the board that it be tabled to give AES more time to get the required documentation.
There was more talk about a possible wind farm of 10-15 windmills on property owned by the borough on Ice Mountain. Josh Framel, from Gamesa Energy USA (Gamesa), and Mr. Dennis Beck, Manager of the Portage Water Authority and their forester, Mike Barton, gave a power point presentation of the wind farm on the Portage watershed to show the environmental friendly aspects of the project. Mayor James Kilmartin and the rest of council decided they would need more time to make a decision on whether or not the borough would be interested in moving forward with the possible wind farm project with Gamesa.
Commonwealth Court cleared the way Friday for part of a wind farm in Bear Creek Township, but the alternative-energy project remains on hold until the state Supreme Court rules on the other part of the plan. Senior Judge Joseph McCloskey upheld orders by Luzerne County Judge Michael Conahan and the Bear Creek Township Zoning Hearing Board, allowing nine out of 35 wind turbines proposed for Energy Unlimited Inc.'s Penobscot Mountain wind farm.
COUDERSPORT — Potter County Planning Commission members took steps to regulate the construction of wind turbines in the county Tuesday night during a lengthy meeting. After hearing arguments from supporters and critics of the wind energy industry, planning commission members passed an ordinance that would require that turbines be located a distance of at least seven times their height from adjacent properties.
Portage Township supervisors have adopted a residential wind turbine ordinance, a first in Cambria and Somerset counties. The Portage Township ordinance adopted last week restricts the number of turbines to one per parcel and spells out minimum setbacks. It also regulates the maximum noise levels that may be generated by turbines and establishes a permit fee.