Articles from Tennessee
The nation's biggest wind generator, NextEra Energy Resources, has bought the Oklahoma portion of the proposed 700-mile-long Plains and Eastern Line to serve Oklahoma and Midwest customers. But for now, plans to bring wind energy from the windy areas of Oklahoma and Texas into the less-windy Tennessee Valley and Southeastern part of the United States are stalled and unlikely to be resurrected for years.
The controversial wind turbine project planned for eastern Cumberland County has been suspended by the developer. Apex Clean Energy announced the decision Friday afternoon.
“I am glad Governor Haslam and the General Assembly approved legislation to prohibit the construction of some Tennessee wind farms for one year and instead give the state a chance to study the issue. If there is one thing Tennesseans agree on, it is pride in the natural beauty of our state. We should not allow anyone to destroy the environment in the name of saving it.”
On April 25th, the Tennessee House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly (85 to 3) in favor of Bill HB1021. But nothing was official until the Senate gave its stamp of approval. That happened last Thursday when SB1336 was passed with the same thunderous approval in Nashville— with 30 Ayes, 0 Nays and 1 PNV (Present not voting).
U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, a longtime critic of wind-powered electricity generation, is praising a state House vote to place a partial moratorium on such developments in Tennessee while a special committee of state lawmakers drafts rules for regulating them.
The legislation that passed the House by a vote of 85-3 would prohibit the construction of any wind farm until July 1, 2018 in counties that don’t have any regulations related to wind farms in place by July 1, 2017, and create a special joint legislative study to evaluate and make recommendations on the siting of wind farms.
Residents opposed to a massive wind farm on the Cumberland Plateau spent Wednesday at the Capitol lobbying lawmakers and urging them to oppose the plan.
"TVA has concluded that it doesn't need more power for the foreseeable future. Therefore, its board should resist obligating TVA's ratepayers for any new large power contracts, much less contracts for comparatively expensive and unreliable wind power. Instead, TVA should continue to provide low-cost, reliable power to the region that boosts economic development throughout the Tennessee Valley."
Martin, as a matter of record recently, went into great detail reading verbatim the entire content of the statute to the commissioners, county attorney and the Mayor. This would leave no doubt in anyone’s mind that they did, in fact have a legal way —not to mention an obligation — to protect the residents of Cumberland County.
Tennesseee legislators — Representative. Cameron Sexton and Senator Paul Bailey — are going to bat for Cumberland County … and the Cumberland Mountain Preservation Coalition is back on the move.
From New York to the mountains of rural Tennessee, wind farms continue to spark controversy and debate.
The Cumberland County Commission approved a resolution Monday night to encourage the state of Tennessee government to pass legislation in regard to the impact of industrial wind turbines. The approval was met with a room full of applause and cheers from wind turbine protestors. The resolution is provided in full on this page. It can also be accessed by downloading the document attached to this page.
“[The wind industry] says their making every effort to be proactive and to reduce birds and bats killed at their projects and they say nobody takes wildlife impacts more seriously than the wind industry.” Hutchins said. “I’m going to challenge that idea.”
Cumberland County commissioners will be asked to decide if they wish to establish regulations on land use in the unincorporated areas of Cumberland County when they meet Monday. In addition, the commission will consider a resolution joining with the Crossville City Council and state and national legislators in opposing the Crab Orchard Wind project.
The board unanimously approved a statement opposing the wind farm project at its regular monthly meeting Thursday. Specifically, the statement opposes the wind farm based on the potential negative impacts to property values in Fairfield Glade and the negative impact on future growth the project may have. It was passed following a motion from Misty Keyes with support from Harry Price.
Last week, The Vista reported that Crossville City Council members now are in opposition to the proposed Apex Clean Energy Crab Orchard Wind Project. Now, State Senator Paul Bailey (R-Sparta) and Representative Cameron Sexton (R-Crossville) have announced their opposition to the proposed wind turbine project in Cumberland County.
The resolution was not on the agenda, but 9th District Commissioner Sandra Baxter Dutcher sought to waive the rules of the county commission and have the proposed resolution added to the agenda for a vote. According to the rules an item is to be submitted seven days prior to the county commission meeting in order for it to appear on the agenda.
The truth is that the impacts of wind farms are significant, and they are not positive for Tennessee's environment and wildlife. If you look at the 23 wind turbines proposed for Cumberland County, each 600 feet tall — three times the height of Neyland Stadium, with blades as long as a football field — and plainly visible from Interstate 40 and the surrounding area, you begin to understand the scope.
Apex has been very secretive about this project, and I do not trust them. Add to this the fact that several of their wind farms are having legal problems, and I do not believe this is the right company for this project. The Tennessee Legislature should put a moratorium in place on wind farms until they can update their wind farm zoning plans. In particular the set back distances for homes near wind farms needs to be determined for residents safety.
Not only are the giant windmills a scenic blemish, they are known to be environmentally destructive - ironic, since they are supposed to protect the environment by providing "clean" energy. However, to install and maintain them, vast swaths of forest and natural areas have to be cleared - and remain cleared forever.