Library from Pennsylvania
... because wind energy development has associated environmental costs, wind energy development should only be instituted on state lands if the environmental benefits can be demonstrated to exceed the environmental costs. ... The environmental benefits of wind energy development, in the mid-Atlantic area in general and on Pennsylvania state lands in particular, are small relative to the negative consequences, which include habitat fragmentation and mortality to birds and bats.
Why don't we just admit that there is an energy crisis in the world and set about finding real solutions to our problems? Many of those opposed to wind energy development in Pennsylvania would drop their opposition, if wind energy were a serious approach to global warming and energy deficits. ...Unregulated wind turbine placement will lead us to massive deforestation and environmental damage, with energy benefits so small as to make a mockery of the entire approach.
"Common sense dictates that erecting wind turbines in the path of migrating birds puts the birds at greater risk, and frankly, we are stupefied that the proponents of this project can't see that and are clinging stubbornly to their plan", Ciarlante said. Thousands of migrating raptors including American Bald Eagles, Eastern Golden Eagles and Hawks transit the Shaffer Mountain ridge every spring and fall and would be put at great risk by the whirling blades of the GAMESA wind turbines.
Wind needs to be part of that solution. But a critical question is this: How far do you go in trying to save the planet by destroying it? We appreciate the urgency, but ravaging the planet in the name of saving it doesn't constitute an alternative-energy strategy as much as an alternative environmental calamity. There are many places where windmills would work fine without impact, but the entire effort is wasting valuable time trying to develop the optimum wind sites at the expense of every other consideration. That's an impediment to rigorously confronting climate change, not a solution.
The commissioners will consider whether to accept a recommendation by the county Planning Commission to allow commercial wind farm development by right in resource protection, agricultural and countryside districts. The current ordinance allows wind farm development in agricultural and countryside districts by right, and in resource protection districts by a special exception permit issued by the county Zoning Hearing Board.
Reed said the economic benefits were not sufficient to make a compelling case for a municipal wind farm at this time, due in part to the uncertain availability of any federal incentives for municipally owned wind projects.
Litigation has stalled the construction of the Crystal Lake wind park, when the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court struck down Luzerne Court of Common Pleas Judge Conahan's decision to overturn the Bear Creek Township board of supervisors' rejection of Energy Unlimited's (EU) submission for a 25- turbine section of the Penobscot wind park. The Commonwealth Court also upheld the Bear Creek supervisors' denial of EU's application for a variance for the construction of 9 additional turbines in the vicinity of Crystal Lake, Mountaintop's water supply. These 9 turbines would have been located at distance of 50 feet from the shore of Crystal Lake. Pennsylvania's Supreme Court refused to hear EU's appeal.
The National Academy of Sciences concluded that long-term research is needed on the ecological impacts of wind turbines prior to their establishment on mid-Atlantic ridges. The academy recommended a minimum of three years for impact studies and that the results be made available for public and scientific scrutiny. Full results of industry-funded research at the Shaffer Mountain site are kept under lock and key and are therefore of dubious scientific value. ... The most reasonable compromise for the state Department of Environmental Protection and the state game commission is to place a moratorium on wind-turbine development in biologically important sites until the environmental impacts are fully understood.
A Press Conference has been scheduled for 12 noon on Monday September 17, 2007 in the rotunda of the Capitol in Harrisburg to protest the statewide push by the Rendell Administration to turn hundreds of miles of Pennsylvania's forested ridge tops into industrial wind facilities. Groups from across the state will be addressing the various concerns that wind power facilities pose to Pennsylvania's wild areas, wildlife, tourism, historical resources, and viewscapes.
Supervisors agreed Tuesday to vote at the Oct. 2 on a "wind energy facility ordinance." ...On Tuesday, solicitor R. James Kamage said that the township's proposed ordinance would give the township the ability to have input on the company's project. He added that the township cannot stop BP Alternative Energy, which is looking at leasing land from Deer Park Lumber, from building a wind turbine facility. However, an ordinance would help the community better understand what the company is doing.
Opposition to the Shaffer Mountain project turns on the old Realtor's mantra of "location, location, location." The wind turbines would be built near the Bedford County line and in the watershed of Piney Run and Clear Shade Creek, two of the state's 28 exceptional value streams -- a designation reserved for creeks with the highest water quality and biological diversity. ... The project [..] also raises hard questions for environmentalists and regulators about the expected expansion of wind-power projects and the need to balance their benefits against potential environmental harm.
Development of wind power in northern Lycoming County took a potential step closer to reality Wednesday at the Lycoming County Planning Commission's meeting. At that session the commission voted unanimously to recommend that the county commissioners approve an amendment to the county zoning ordinance that will allow electricity-generating wind turbines in so-called resource protection zones.
State officials got an earful and more on opposition to Gamesa Energy USA's proposal to site 30 turbines on Somerset County's Shaffer Mountain at a public hearing Tuesday night. A crowd of more than 450 heckled, cheered and jeered as speakers took the stand at a packed Shade High School gymnasium....A busload of about 40 employees from Gamesa's Ebensburg plant arrived in Gamesa ballcaps to sit together and provide most of the company's backing in the tough crowd.
BP Alternative Energy business developer Kevin Davis, who spoke during a Noxen supervisors meeting Wednesday, Aug. 22, about a wind turbine ordinance, said that his company plans to put up additional testing towers in Forkston, Noxen and Eaton townships. "If we don't have the wind, we won't do a project," he said. The special meeting Wednesday was attended by around 50 people and was called by supervisors to discuss a proposed windmill ordinance, which was tabled in May after BP expressed concerns. ...Solicitor R. James Kamage said that supervisors discussed legal issues raised by BP's letter. Although he added that BP hasn't threatened or pursued litigation, he also said that if Noxen had passed its proposed ordinance then BP might have threatened litigation.
I have read Gamesa's Mr. Michael Peck's and Mr. Tim Vought's articles in the Daily American. I would like to comment on a few of Mr. Peck and Mr. Vought's observations. Mr. Peck stated, "Any claim made that Gamesa did not provide accurate information to the Windber Area Authority to review is false." The real truth of the matter is the Windber Area Authority did not receive any useful information concerning this project that anyone could make a qualified decision on given the massive scale of this project until our March 14 meeting, when we got the plans from a private citizen who obtained them from the Somerset Conservation District. If anyone says anything differently then they are speaking with a forked tongue.
An objective analysis of windmills as even a partial solution to our energy needs just isn't cutting it. The numbers just don't add up. It maybe time to use the old adage, "Liars can figure, but figures don't lie". Obviously, the American Wind Energy Association is a powerful lobby taking us in a direction that will only result in that warm and fuzzy feeling, but our lights may not come on. From the Rocky Mountains to Texas to Maine people are finally beginning to question the logic and effectiveness of wind energy.
...the expected generating capacity of wind farms during heat waves -- when ozone alerts are more likely to occur and would be most serious -- is probably going to be far lower than their summertime average. AN OFTEN-POSED rhetorical question asks if "smokestacks" are preferable to wind farms -- a false choice. Thousands more wind turbines are coming, yet smokestacks will persist and likely increase in number. Wind turbines will not qualify as credible substitutes for building future power plants since they cannot be counted on to produce electricity when needed. They also will not result in the retirement of any existing power plant given the ever-increasing growth in demand for electricity in our region.
NOXEN TWP. - Supervisors agreed at a special meeting on Wednesday night to redraft a proposed wind-park ordinance including suggestions from a model submitted by BP Alternative Energy. The company is considering installing a nearly 100-turbine generation site that would encompass several high ridges in Eaton, Noxen and Forkston townships and be routed onto the electrical grid through a transmission station in Mehoopany Township. Though the company has discussed the topic with each municipality, all of which were "open to listening," according to BP Alternative Energy business developer Kevin Davis, the company has only faced public comment here because the township is considering the wind-park ordinance.
A series of nine meetings will be held by the state Bureau of Forestry to seek public input on changes to its master management plan charting the course of Pennsylvania's state forests for future generations.
A company interested in building 30 to 90 wind turbines in the southern part of Wyoming County is "encouraged" by test readings taken with a meteorological tower in Forkston Township. BP Alternative Energy business developer Kevin Davis, who spoke during a Noxen supervisors meeting Wednesday about a wind turbine ordinance, said his company plans to put up additional testing towers in Forkston, Noxen and Eaton townships.