Articles filed under General from USA
In the latest example of how alternative-energy projects are meeting with resistance, Bog Wind failed to win the support of the Wareham Zoning Board of Appeals. After seven public hearings over 16 months, the board unanimously denied a special permit for the two turbines requested by Beaufort Windpower on bogs off Charge Pond Road. Beaufort has until early next month to appeal the decision, filed Feb. 15.
The offer acknowledged complaints about turbines such as noise, shadow flicker and interference with television reception. "It is true that turbines are not silent; however, we plan carefully to ensure that our wind farms operate to acceptable levels," the offer states. ...Opponents say the state rules aren't sufficient. Mainstream also said wind turbines can affect TV reception, depending on the layout. "If we cause problems with your television reception, we will work with you to sort it out at our expense."
The $4.8 million is enough to cover the cost of construction, plus the Delmarva Power study because the project has been scaled down after officials at Patuxent River Naval Air Station in St. Mary's County expressed concerns that turbines will interfere with radar systems.
Former Mayor Lionel Rivera, who has been a critic of the wind plan, called the decision "good news for our community." Rivera argued that Utilities won't need additional generating capacity for years to come and has invested heavily in Neumann Systems Group's clean coal technology.
After the meeting, residents questioned appeared to be overwhelmingly against the project. "I am opposed to the project," Rollie Wellington said. "I am opposed from the standpoint of the economic and environmental impact and the loss of control of the land and our land value. I support this organization fully."
"This was the toughest decision they had to make, and hopefully there won't be anymore like this," Schabel said. "It's heavy pressure, does everyone agree with it, no, but they did the best they could." ..."They studied it thoroughy," said John McQuillan, Merritt Township attorney. "That's why the Planning Commission is appointed to make this decision."
After almost 2 years of lengthy discussions and sometimes heated debates, the Ogle County Board Tuesday decided not to tighten wind farm restrictions on noise, setbacks and shadow flicker.
"The debate had been going on for a long time and a decision had to be made," said Dave Schabel, Merritt Township supervisor. "I think the commission made the best decision that they could." Mary Wells, spokesperson for NexEra, said that officials were surprised and very disappointed by the decision.
Neither Richardson nor the four petitioners backing the issue have direct experience in the energy field. Richardson confirmed that she is a model and burlesque dancer, but added, "I don't see how that's relevant. It's not about us individually. I have a history of working as a political activist since I was 12 years old.
At a City Council meeting Tuesday night, City Manager Jackie Knox quoted from a Texas Attorney General's opinion in 2009 that says cities may enforce land development regulations against a school district for aesthetics or to maintain property values. "We feel the attorney general's interpretation is what we have to go by," Knox said.
Ring said if the project is not moving forward by June 30, the school district will cancel the project. "I think we've extended the terms of construction long enough," he said. ...Ring could not provide specifics on the funding he said NexGen lost, and NexGen representatives did not return calls.
Strottman bought two turbines from Earth Linked two years ago to drastically cut his monthly $1,700 electric bill. The project cost $410,000. Strottman received $123,000 in government funds and he got a loan for the balance. The farmer makes $3,700 monthly payments on the machines that currently sit idle.
No developer with state turbine permits in hand has abandoned a project, Parfitt said. But a number of wind farms are on hold, have yet to complete additional construction phases or are still dealing with a range of issues.
"The Sandsage Prairie is an ecosystem that is very fragile, and impacting it in a large way could have an impact on the species that depend on that ecosystem," Barton said, adding that two species in particular are the longnose snake and the lesser prairie-chicken.
Sen. Allan Kittleman, R-Howard, said he also has concerns about whether the $2-a-month cap is realistic. "My concern is the fact that when you piggyback all the costs together, it does get to be more than $2 a month," Kittleman said. O'Malley said it would probably be another five to six years before ratepayers even see a change in their utility bills.
The committee received three letters of support for the turbine and three letters against it, as well as a community petition in opposition. At the zoning committee hearing on Thursday, one person spoke in favor of the turbine and six against.
The Vermont Public Service Board agreed with the towns of Albany and Craftsbury and set up a one-day technical hearing in March to look at how a road that runs through Echo Forestry lands in Eden would affect the large swath of conserved land there. The board members, in an order issued Thursday, said they want Green Mountain Power and the state of Vermont to explain why the road would not affect the proposed wildlife corridor.
The thrust of the lawsuit was that construction and operation of the wind farm caused the plaintiffs to suffer adverse health effects, emotional distress and economic damages, according to court documents from the Huron County Clerk's office. It consisted of four counts: Private nuisance, public nuisance, negligent design of a wind farm and negligent misrepresentation.
In total, about 70 residents from at least a dozen towns, including groups from Fairhaven and Falmouth, attended the meeting to share their experiences and thoughts with state Department of Environmental Protection and Department of Public Health representatives. At the state's request, many also made recommendations for next steps.
But some, including a number of Republicans, are questioning both the $2-a-month cost figure and the forecast of jobs for Marylanders. In fact, searching through a number of studies shows how difficult it is to come up with reliable numbers on wind energy costs.